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Donate for children – make your donation count!

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Many people wish to share their good fortune by donating and doing good. Especially during Christmastime, people ask themselves: How can I really help a person in need in a meaningful way? Let’s pause for a moment and consciously look at the less fortunate people in our world: often, it is children who suffer the most – through no fault of their own.

With so much suffering, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But exactly the opposite is the case: For the children with cleft lip and palate who come to us for treatment every donation counts. Every euro brings a child closer to being able to have their operation – an operation that sometimes even saves their lives due to the health problems an untreated cleft can cause. Every donation brings this decisive turning point in a child’s lives closer – closer to a future that is free from the health burden of the cleft.

Why do children with cleft lip and palate need help so urgently?

With a cleft lip and / or a cleft palate, babies cannot swallow, eat or drink properly. They are also susceptible to infections. If cleft children do not receive adequate treatment, they face a lifetime of problems. Far too many cleft children even die of malnutrition before their first birthday.

The lack of separation of mouth and nose also results in problems with speech development. Hearing deficits caused by chronic middle ear infections that again are due to this lack of separation can make learning to speak even more difficult. In addition, many cleft children are ostracized in their neighborhoods and schools because of their appearance, and their families sometimes have to live on the margins of society.

The mothers in particular are often unfairly blamed for the cleft lip and palate, which of course they in reality had no ability to prevent. The resulting psychological and emotional stress for both child and parents is incredible, even more if they do not know that there is treatment available, or think that they could never afford it.

The families from which our cleft children come live in countries where general medical care as in industrialized nations is not a matter of course. They already have a hard time making ends meet, getting enough to eat every day, or enabling their children to attend school. To be born into this situation as a child with cleft lip and palate is a difficult start in life.

How can children with cleft lip and palate be helped?

Providing an operation or operations to close the cleft lip and / or palate is the first and central therapeutic measure. It gives children a tangible step forward and lays the foundation to let them grow and develop to the best of their potential, free of the health and psychological burden of the cleft.

Shortly after their cleft palate surgery, children can eat and drink properly for the first time in their lives. At the same time, the palate surgery lays the foundation for normal language development and gives the children the chance to participate in social life – to make friends, to go to school, to get married, to start a family. All of this can be made possible with the right treatment.

A meaningful donation for children

A life-changing operation for children and babies with cleft lip and palate costs an average of 300 euros in our project countries in Asia, South America and East Africa. As a surgery sponsor, you give a child the gift of a complete operation and a new perspective on life.

Every euro helps by bringing a child closer to the life-changing operation – many others like you are also helping.

Every treatment is documented by the local doctors in our patient database and checked by us. This way we can be sure that the donations entrusted to us are used in a meaningful way.

Become a surgery sponsor now!

Donate now!

Five good reasons to donate to Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe

  1. A clear goal: Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is dedicated to a single cause: helping children with cleft lip and palate. In our project countries, we provide direct medical aid to families in need. The success is measured in the number of operations provided.
  2. Comprehensive: Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe uses your donations to finance not only the operations, but also the necessary follow-up treatments such as speech therapy or orthodontic treatments.
  3. Transparent: Every treatment by the local doctors is documented in our patient database and checked by us. This way we can make sure that the donations entrusted to us are used properly.
  4. Sustainable: The goal of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is to establish independently functioning medical structures in our project countries. Our cooperation with our projects is on a long-term basis, and we are in regular exchange with all our local partners.
  5. Certified: The German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) has confirmed our responsible and serious handling of our donation income with the DZI donation seal continuously since 2012.
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Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe in numbers
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Every year, our teams perform some 6,800 cleft surgeries worldwide. The vast majority of our patients are children.
We provided surgeries to children with cleft lip and palate at 48 locations in Asia, Africa and South America in 2020.
The success story of our help for cleft children since 2002: 64,593 cleft surgeries for patients in need were funded by end of year 2021.
Our network: More than 250 local surgeons, therapists and project workers around the world.
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Daisy from Bolivia
Shoaib from India
Ibrahim from Bangladesh
Ariana from Peru
Khan from Vietnam
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A happy family – thanks to your donations for children in Pakistan

The fate of Abdul and his children has particularly touched our lead surgeon in Pakistan, Prof. Ganatra: “In my career as a cleft surgeon, I have operated thousands of cleft patients. I have met many families. Their stories are often similar: The people live in the simplest of circumstances, earning just enough to make a living. The free treatment means a lot to them. And time and again I experience fates that touch me in a very special way.”

Raiza, Umair and Jawaid are siblings. Their father Abdul brings them to our aid mission in Hub in early July. He himself was born with a cleft. His first two children are born without a cleft. Then Jawaid is born – a shock: A large bilateral cleft disfigures the boy’s face. The family is distraught. Abdul blames himself. A fourth healthy child follows. But then, it happens again: Raiza and Umair, the two youngest of the six children, also are born with clefts. Both are operated on by Prof. Ganatra on July 9 during our surgical mission in Hub. Jawaid’s cleft is too pronounced, the surgery too complex to perform during the mission. He has to travel to Prof. Ganatra’s clinic in Karachi for his surgery, which he does, three weeks later. On this occasion, Prof. Ganatra also meets Raiza and Umair again. They are happy that now their brother also has been able to receive the treatment he needed.

“The happiness in these children’s eyes is the greatest gift for me,” Prof. Ganatra tells us after the successful surgeries. The whole family can now look to the future with hope and lead a “normal” life.

You can find more success stories from our work here.

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It doesn’t cost much to change a child’s life for the better

The most important part of the treatment is the surgery. Performed by a skilled, qualified surgeon like our partners are, it makes children with a cleft lip look “normal” again. If there is also a cleft palate, at least one further operation is required. An untreated cleft palate has serious consequences: the children cannot eat and drink properly and speak with difficulty.

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Cloud Arrow Arrow Cloud Arrow Arrow Arrow A surgery, performed by skilled local surgeons, only costs 300 euros. Help with a donation and give a cleft child a chance to live a better life.
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.