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Where we help

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Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is present in Asia, South America and Africa. In 2019, we were active in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania and Vietnam. In these countries, we financed operations and, to varying degrees, additional therapies. We are running a small speech therapy project in Xi’an (China). In Costa Rica we started funding a cleft project.

Projects in Cameroon, Uganda and the Philippines were completed. In Tajikistan and Burundi we had to temporarily halt our work and are planning to resume when the situation in the countries permits.

The range of treatments we can offer in our project countries varies depending on the existing medical infrastructures and the maturity of our project. There are locations where our aid is limited to basic surgeries. In other countries, we can offer a full comprehensive cleft treatment with followup therapies from a variety of medical specialist disciplines. Other projects lie in between.

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Basic surgeries
Surgeries and some followup therapies
Surgeries plus full range of followup therapies
It’s a great fortune to be born in a country like ours. When a child with cleft lip and palate is born in Germany, the parents receive support from the first day on, and the children receive all necessary therapies through our healthcare system. This is not the case in many other countries around the world. Children there suffer from their malformations for their entire lives, and many die even in the first year of life. They need our help.
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In Afghanistan, three male surgeons and one female surgeon brave the risk of attacks every day to help cleft children. The brave team of doctors received specialist cleft surgery training from us.
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In Bangladesh, around 6,000 children are born each year with cleft lip and palate. In late 2018, we expanded our medical team and since then were able to more than double the yearly number of operations, from 761 to 1,870.
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We have been active in Bolivia since 2010. The experienced surgeon Dr. Mario Villalba was our partner from day one. A second project was added in 2016. Its leader, Dr. Adolfo Mamani, is committed to building interdisciplinary structures.
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Since July 2018, we have been promoting speech therapy measures for cleft children at the University Clinic in X’ian. The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Taiwan.
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Costa Rica
Our project in San José focuses on the promotion of pre- and post-operative treatments. The project started in 2019. Our cooperation partner is the Canadian organization Transforming Faces.
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In 2019, 2,792 operations were performed in our currently 32 Indian treatment centers. In six centers, we offer comprehensive cleft care from all relevant medical disciplines.
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Many of Indonesia’s islands are difficult to reach, and patient transportation is expensive. Despite these difficult conditions, we were able to provide surgical treatment to 20 children during our first mission in 2020.
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Pakistan is one of our biggest projects. Thanks to our project manager, the experienced and dedicated surgeon Prof. Ganatra, more than 700 cleft children were treated in 2019.
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Our work in Peru is driven by the comprehensive treatment concept. The successful project was set up by our partner Dr. Alberto Bardales, who has been working with us since 2006.
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Rwanda and Tanzania
Our project managers, the surgeons Dr. Dr. Oliver Blume and Gunther Au-Balbach, are on site once a year and operate patients with our local team. A purely African team from Uganda and Rwanda goes on missions to Tanzania.
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Three projects at two locations: Dr. Ai leads a project in Hanoi. In cooperation with the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Taiwan we are running another project there, as well as an additional one in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Five good reasons to donate
We are dedicated to one single cause: the treatment of children with cleft lip and palate. In our project countries, we provide direct medical aid to families in need. With success measurable by the number of operations.
As far as the structures in our project countries allow, we also finance necessary follow-up treatments beyond the surgeries, such as speech therapy or orthodontic measures.
Every treatment is documented in our patient database by the doctors on site and verified and checked for quality by us. This way we can be sure that the donations entrusted to us are used properly.
Our goal always is to establish independently functioning medical structures in our project countries. We therefore support our projects over the long term and continuously stay in contact with our local partners.
The German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) has been certifying our responsible and proper handling of our donation income with its DZI donation seal since 2012.