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DCKH 2020 Annual Report: 4,634 surgeries despite Corona

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DCKH’s 2020 Annual Report is now available in German. The English version will become available soon. 2020 was a very unusual year. Thanks to your support, we were able to make 4,634 operations possible for children with cleft lip and palate in 2020. A very positive result given the worldwide lockdowns and new, more difficult working conditions due to the measures our partners had to take to protect their patients and their staff.

We are deeply impressed by the great commitment that we have seen from our many friends, sponsors and donors over the past year. For every donation you have made to help children with cleft lip and palate around the world, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts – on behalf of our little patients, their families and our local partners.

Our local structures to help children with cleft have proven themselves in the Corona pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic was a disaster that we will all remember. It also hit Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe hard: Corona was a huge, completely new challenge for us and our partners worldwide. There was no well-rehearsed catalog of measures to help us out of the crisis, no wealth of experience to fall back on. When the world suddenly ground to a halt in the spring of last year, our worry was that we would no longer be able to continue helping children with cleft lip and palate.

While many organizations who rely on foreign teams had to stop their work due to travel restrictions, our local partners were able to continue to be there for the cleft children. It is the result of many years of development work. Our long-standing strategy of building sustainable, local structures is again paying off. Since Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe was founded in 2002, we have built up an international aid network. Doctors, therapists and project staff as well as sponsors and donors are committed to our little patients. With the common goal of building a better future to children who would otherwise have little chance in life.

The families are very poor and need help

Most of the families of our children with cleft lip and palate live in great poverty. The help they receive from our teams gives them hope in these difficult times. At 48 locations in nine countries, our local teams mastered the new challenges and continued our help for cleft children. New hygiene and protection measures were put into place, which increased the cost of a surgery by an average of 50 euros, increasing it to 300 Euros. In India and Bangladesh, in addition to our help for cleft children, we provided financial support to Covid-19 emergency programs.

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Our global aid for cleft children
Impressions from India
Cleft children in Bolivia and Peru
Project overview Vietnam and East Africa
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Our Annual Report 2020

In our 2020 annual report you will find detailed figures, colorful impressions and touching stories from our cleft children. You will learn more about the new projects that we were able to start last year: a training program for two young surgeons in Bangladesh, the establishment of an interdisciplinary cleft center in Pakistan and the construction of a hospital with a cleft center at our new project location in Puntland (Somalia).

You can download the annual report (as of yet only in German) here as a pdf or order a physical copy here.

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Five good reasons to donate for cleft children
We dedicate ourselves to a single cause: Treating children with cleft lip and palate. In our project countries, we offer direct medical help for the needy patients and their families. Measurable in the number of surgeries offered.
Whereever the situation in our project countries allows, we fund additional necessary followup therapies beyond the surgeries, such as speech therapy or orthodontics.
Every treatment is documented by our doctors in the project countries in our patient database and verified by us. This way we know that the donations entrusted to us are used properly.
Our goal always is to build sustainable, independently functioning structures in our project countries. To achieve this, we build up long-term partnerships and keep in close touch with our local partners.
The German Central Institute for Social Matters (DZI) certifies that we use the donations entrusted to us responsibly and properly manner. We have held this certificate continuously since 2012.
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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.