Today, 6th of October, people all over the world will be celebrating World Smile Day, a day devoted to smiles and acts of kindness. In honor of this special day, Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, has launched a campaign to celebrate all of the people who contribute to their work and who help change the lives of children born with untreated clefts in the Philippines.In addition, this celebration will help kick-off the countdown to reaching the 50,000th cleft surgery in the country.
Yesterday, Smile Train Philippines held it’s local celebration at I’M Hotel in Makati City. This will serve as a thanksgiving event to recognize local partner hospitals and medical professionals for their commitment in providing free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children with clefts; and to corporate partners and donors for their support and help in generating awareness for the organization.
“Since 2001, Smile Train has performed close to 50,000 cleft surgeries in the Philippines. This would not have been possible without our local partners who are committed to helping children with clefts and our donors who continue to believe in our cause,” says Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director for Smile Train Philippines.
During the event, Smile Train will recognize their local partners including, the Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, and the Philippine Band of Mercy (PBM) who just recently received recognition for surpassing 20,000 cleft surgeries since their partnership began with Smile Train in 2002.
Others who will be recognized are Smile Train’sTeam EMPOWER athletes who competed inthe IRONMAN®70.3 held in Mactan, Cebu and Smile Train’s ambassadors of Beyond Yoga who participated in the first “Yoga for Smiles Challenge” in the Philippines. In addition, Smile Train will honor GLAD® wraps and bags for their continued commitment and support in helping children with clefts in the Philippines through their Glad-To-Give Smiles campaign.“We are pleased that more people and companies are becoming involved in our endeavor to reach more children with clefts harness the power of a smile,” adds Flaviano. “It doesn’t take a lot for people to get involved in our cause – it can be as simple as sharing news about Smile Train to their circle of friends and families – which goes a long way.”
The celebration was capped by a performance from The Bleu Rascals, an internationally-awarded blues-rock band, whose lead vocalist and guitarist, Paul Marney Leobrera was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, proving to the world that you can succeed in life with the right attitude and support.
Smile Train invites everyone around the world to join in the World Smile Day®celebration and to post a picture on Instagram showing how they are able to harness the power of a smile using the #SmileTrainWSD hashtag. For more information about Smile Train Philippines, follow the organization on Instagram @SmileTrainPH or on Facebook at facebook.com/SmileTrainPhilippines/.