Block ID: #section–hero-page-block_607d4e1fe7b45

Lachen helfen e. V. supports cleft children in Afghanistan

Block ID: #section–text-block_607d4589e7b44

Lachen helfen e. V. supports cleft children in Afghanistan

Lachen helfen e. V. is a charity with longstanding experience in war- and crisis-torn regions. They know: investments in education and medical care are the best ways to alleviate poverty and prevent fanaticism, terrorism and violence. Lachen helfen e. V. has thus decided to support our aid for cleft children in Afghanistan with a generous donation of 5,000 Euros for surgeries.

Block ID: #section–text-block_607d5fe47951a

A success story from Afghanistan

We rarely get good photos of the work done by our team in Afghanistan. For religious reasons and also out of fear of the Taliban, many people are reluctant to be photographed. This is especially true for Afghan women. Our doctors, too, prefer to act cautiously and avoid drawing too much attention to themselves.

This makes these impressive photographs of little Abdul and his family all the more fascinating. They represent a very rare glimpse into the life of one of our Afghan patients. Our patient, Abdul, lives in a small village near the border with Tajikistan, together with his parents and two siblings. Abdul’s father sells brushwood as fuel, as well as fish from the nearby river. The village was flooded several times by the river, and with every flood, Abdul’s family lost their home. A donkey is their only asset.

Abdul is the youngest of the three children. He was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. By chance, Abdul’s parents learned that we operate cleft children free of charge in Kunduz. Shortly before Abdul’s first birthday, the whole family set off for the city. The joy after Abdul’s operation is successful is huge. Abdul’s father overjoyed when he holds his son in his arms after the operation: Abdul’s cleft is closed, and soon even the scar will be barely visible anymore.

Block ID: #section–slider-images-block_607d5dac79514
Our patient Abdul lives in a rural area with his family.
Abdul with his two siblings.
No medical care whatsoever is available in the village the family lives in.
The entire family makes their way to Kunduz so that Abdul can have his surgery.
Abdul’s father is happy: the surgery was a success.
Block ID: #section–text-block_607d5754e7b46

Uncertain outlook for Afghanistan

The healthcare situation in Afghanistan is precarious. Many hospitals were destroyed by the Taliban, and there are hardly any specialists. Our aid work in Afghanistan relies on three locations: Kunduz, Mazar-i-Sharif and Faizabad.

Almost 1,400 operations are the positive result. The average age of the cleft children operated by us in Afghanistan is higher than in other project countries. Most children have to wait many years for help.

Attacks are still part of everyday life in Afghanistan. Doctors sometimes risk their lives to help the children. With the withdrawal of western troops in 2021, the future of the country in the Hindu Kush is uncertain. We are grateful for every single child we can provide a surgery for in the face of these obstacles.

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.