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South America: Report from Peru

On July 1st, after more than 100 days, Peru went from strict “social isolation” to “social distancing”. In many, especially the poorer, areas the isolation could not be upheld any longer. The easing means that even more people are now taking to the streets. The situation is very difficult. Many people could not adhere to the isolation because they were simply hungry and had to feed their families. The people here live from one day to the next, many are day laborers. Many don’t have refrigerators either. Therefore, they must go to the market every day to shop. The markets as a result are transmission hotspots. When a market is closed, blankets are laid out as “market stalls” elsewhere and new sales channels are thus opened in an unconventional and, of course, dangerous manner. For many, it is not possible to comply with the hygiene regulations because they have no direct water access. This also applies to many schools in the provinces.

Medicines are scarce and some are counterfeited. The same applies to the masks. The prices for oxygen have risen dramatically. Unfortunately, here too, corrupt methods are used to make money off people’s suffering. Due to the long quarantine, domestic violence is more common in the often poor and cramped conditions. Our psychologist Nely is constantly busy and uses the telephone to support the families of our little patients awaiting their operation.

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Sylvia Luedtke Haas with the Peruvian team. On the far left: Our project partner and lead surgeon Dr. Alberto Bardales.
Dr. Bardales at work.
Our psychologist Nely supports the families in these difficult times.
A little patient with his mother.
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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.