The Smile Train, an international children’s charity, is getting $20 million to support medical training, treatment and research to benefit children with cleft palates in China.
The gift — one of the largest contributions ever in the field of cleft palates — will unite a team of professionals from the U.S., China and Australia to train more than 800 Chinese doctors at an International symposium in Beijing.
Former President George Bush, who once served as ambassador to China, will be the event’s keynote speaker.
The Smile Train, which has already provided free surgery to 2,000 Chinese children, will cover the cost of an additional 4,000 surgeries in China this year.
“There are few investments in the world that give such an incredible return,” says Charles Wang, a founding board member. “Just one surgery can give a child not just a new face, but a new life.”
In most parts of the world, children with untreated cleft lips or cleft palates face shame and isolation, he noted.
Launched in 1999, the Smile Train aims to eradicate cleft lips and palates globally through free medical training, free surgery, and research.