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New hope for Noor

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When Nazmul and Nipu learn that they are going to become parents, they are overjoyed. They are excited about their first child and can hardly await the birth of their little daughter. They already have a name picked out: Noor, the Bengali word for “light”.

But the happiness of the new parents is soon replaced by shock: When Nipu can finally take her baby into her arms for the first time, she is dismayed to see that a large cleft disfigures her daughter’s delicate face. Nipu and her husband Nazmul don’t know what to do. They know that Noor needs surgery. But they don’t have the money for the operation.


Noor is born with a bilateral cleft lip. In Germany, children with cleft lip receive surgery as early as the third month of life. But in Bangladesh, Nazmul and Nipu’s home country, many people do not have access or the necessary money to secure treatment for their children. Noor’s parents are no exception. They worry: How can they breastfeed their little girl now? And what will the others in the village say?

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Suddenly, light comes back into the family’s life. An employee of our cleft treatment project in Bangladesh learns about Noor and visits the family at home. He tells Nazmul and Nipu about our offer of free surgery for children like their daughter. A weight is lifted from the parents’ shoulders. They gain new hope and receive an appointment to for their daughter to be treated at a cleft camp held in Rangpur by our surgeon Dr. Mohammad Quamruzzaman, Dr. Zaman for short.

Dr. Zaman closes Noor’s bilateral cleft lip. Noor is just three months old, a very good age to have this important surgery behind her already. The chances of her cleft healing well are optimal. Noor now has the best chance of leading a normal life, growing up healthy, having friends and going to school. And when she smiles, the sun rises!

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Within weeks, all that is left of the surgery will be a barely visible scar.
Noor before the surgery.
The small family after the treatment.
New genetic study sheds light on how cleft lip and palate forms
There is still no reliable method to prevent the development of a cleft lip and palate. This is in no small part due to the fact that there is not one clear cause: Cleft has a multifactorial origin. One important factor is genetic. Here too, however, the situation is not clear-cut - there is no such thing as "the cleft gene". A group of researchers at the University of Bonn has now added to our knowledge about cleft by investigating the 98% of genes that do not themselves directly contain blueprints for proteins.
Daimler Symphony Orchestra: Charity concert for Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe
On Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, the Daimler Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, with pianist Marcel Mok and under its longtime musical director Matthias Baur, played a benefit concert for the Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe. The orchestra, a project of music enthusiasts from the Daimler Group, has been in existence since 1978. Former Stuttgart mayor Dr. Wolfgang Schuster gave a welcoming address.
24 Gute Taten Advent calendar – featuring Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!
For many, the pre-Christmas season would not be complete without an Advent calendar. Small treats or loving gifts sweeten every December day. But another thing can also be hidden behind the doors: good deeds! The 24 Gute Taten ("24 Good Deeds") charity Advent calendar makes sure of that: every day, a charitable project from the fields of health, environment, education and many more is presented and supported with the proceeds from the sale of the calendars. This year, one of the projects presented once again is one by Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!
From our projects
The story of Maui, cleft child from Colombia
Our new project to help children with cleft lip and palate in Colombia begins with a very unusual case. Maui was born with a cleft lip and palate. His parents belong to an indigenous people and do not know how to get him the help he needs. By a happy coincidence, Julia, a Swiss woman living in Colombia, is a neighbor of the family and offers to help. In search of treatment options, she comes across Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe.
Video: Impressions from Bolivia
The parents of our cleft children are always full of gratitude. When their child is born with cleft, they often do not know what to make of the malformation, much less that it can be treated. And even if they do - most of our little patients come from the poorest of backgrounds. Their parents could never afford the operation. It is an unimaginable happiness for them to learn that their children can receive qualified treatment, and free of charge even. This wonderful, touching film from our Bolivian aid project captures these special moments of happiness.
Video: Impressions from Pakistan
This film, made for our Pakistani partner organization, the Al-Mustafa Welfare Societey, by the father of one of our patients, shows scenes from our work in Karachi. From here, our senior surgeon Prof. Ashraf Ganatra treats cleft children from poorest families. He operates the children from Karachi at the Al Mustafa Medical Center. In order to reach the many needy families living outside the city, he also regularly heads out to local provincial hospitals to treat cleft patients there.