Block ID: #section–hero-page-block_2c9640ad0d02fa6d07ee064267d3cb75

New hope for Noor

Block ID: #section–text-block_6911a795200feace2357929fbae22a39

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?

Block ID: #section–text-block_9b673571903cdb8ebf59c5da0d488080

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!

Block ID: #section–slider-images-block_42792ac50ee24c4c56f0bbd0c750dbe3
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.
From our projects
Visit to our cleft treatment project in Pakistan
Helping the children with cleft malformation treated in our cleft treatment project in Karachi live their best lives is the overarching goal of our three-year BMZ funding project. To evaluate the project, a team from Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe traveled to Pakistan in early 2023. An exciting trip with intense, touching impressions of the successful work done by our Pakistani partners.
Project visit Sierra Leone
Many people in Sierra Leone are affected by extreme poverty. This also means very poor conditions and little hope for treatment for those who give birth to a child with cleft lip here. Now our long-time volunteer supporters and Africa project leaders, the highly qualified surgeons Dr. Dr. Oliver Blume and Gunther Au-Balbach, visited the country to establish contacts for a new cleft project and to provide care to the first patients.
December 2022: Project visit in Vietnam
Our help for children with cleft lip and palate would be impossible without our network of helpers. In addition to many local surgeons and other medical professionals in the partner countries, this network also includes volunteers who support our local teams with passion and skill. An intercultural exchange that is enriching for both sides. The work in our project country Vietnam has been accompanied since 2016 by the Munich doctors Dr. Denys J Loeffelbein and Dr. Daniel Lonic. In December 2022, the two visited their colleagues and friends in Vietnam again for the first time since the pandemic.
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.