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Wolfgang Rosenthal Gesellschaft – Making a difference together

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A youthful 40 years

With fresh, appealing initiatives such as “Show your face!” and “Speak up”, the Wolfgang Rosenthal Gesellschaft (WRG), a self-help association for lip and palate malformations, is keeping up with the times, despite its proud age of now over 40 years. Founded in 1981 by parents of cleft children, the association is dedicated to providing advice, information and education on cleft lip and palate. In this way, the WRG spreads awareness of and sensitivity for cleft-related issues and makes a valuable contribution to society – and to our work!

The parents’ self-help association was named after the German oral surgeon and concert singer Wolfgang Rosenthal, a pioneer in the field of interdisciplinary treatment of cleft lip and palate. Throughout his life, the Berlin-born surgeon developed innovative surgical and treatment techniques to provide his patients with ever better care and long term outcomes. Even though Wolfgang Rosenthal unfortunately did not live to see the founding of the WRG, he would certainly have been thrilled to see the wide range of services that the association now offers for those affected and their families.

Our two organizations share a common goal and outlook, and we would like to further build on this in the future. Many of our donors are affected by cleft, either personally or indirectly through one of their loved ones, and some are members of the WRG as well. This exchange is very valuable for us.


Seminars and anniversary celebrations

The WRG regularly offers workshops and seminars on cleft lip and palate related topics. Persons personally affected by cleft, their friends and relatives, or simply the interested public – all are welcome. This July, a weekend seminar was held on the topic “Expertise of affected persons is in demand!”. At the sports and educational facility in Wetzlar, the WRG offered a series of workshops and a colorful social program for all ages. To conclude the weekend, the association’s 40th anniversary was celebrated. We were happy to be there and take part.

The WRG is never at a loss for words and never afraid to stand up and “show its face”. A heartfelt thank you for that!

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.