The Power of a Smile
We see them everywhere. They are all around us, yet we take them for granted. Smiles. I was reading about the Smile Train and their campaign, “Power of a Smile” and realized I never really thought that much about it. There is a ton of research out there that supports that a smile is extremely powerful. I’ve heard that when talking on the phone you should wear a smile as it makes you sound more cheerful. I have read that when seeing someone smile it makes it more difficult to be mad or angry. I have also heard that a smile requires a lot less muscles than a frown. So with all this evidence of the importance of a smile I jumped at the chance to share this powerful charities information with my readers.
The “Power of a Smile”
Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Their sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities.
There is no reason these children shouldn’t be able to smile without fear of being bullied or laughed at. However, people can be mean and these poor children are often ridiculed simply because of a cleft lip or palate. It’s a shame. In many cases these abnormalities can be fixed in as little as 45 minutes and for a cost as low as $250. Not only would it improve the smile of a child, but it also can help with their breathing, eating, and speech. The possibilities are endless.
What You Can Do
Donate. Help spread awareness of this incredible program!
How a Smile Trained a Nurse
Angieleca Hayahay once dreamed of becoming a nurse.
But her path wasn’t without its difficulties. While applying for work at a call center to help pay for her schooling, an examiner told her that there was a strict policy against hiring those with a cleft.
This is not uncommon to many cultures where cleft is seen as a curse or lifelong disability. Some still believe that physical deformity is evidence of mental disability as well.
But Angieleca persevered against discrimination and officially became a nurse in 2009. She now works with Philippine Band of Mercy, the very same people who repaired her cleft and inspired her to become a nurse.
Being a former cleft patient herself, she has an unique ability to relate to the families who come through the hospital. Drawing from her own experiences to address their fears and concerns.
She’s a role model to those with a cleft, and proof that cleft patients can change not only lives, but minds as well.
“[After surgery, family and friends] no longer pity the child… [they say] “Oh it’s good that you already have the surgery so that when he grows up he will not have to hide from any other children or fear for bullies. The child has more confidence.”
– Regina Batistis, Angieleca’s patient
“If I could tell anybody about cleft… that it’s not the end of the world. We already have a better future for children, that they can have a better life, that they don’t have to hide from anybody else. They have [the chance] to live their life to the fullest because we won’t be treated differently.”
– Regina Batistis, Angieleca’s patient
Did You Know
- Smile Train has helped more than one million children in 15 years, but there are still millions of children living with unrepaired clefts.
- Smile Train is an international children’s charity that has worked in 85+ countries around the world.
- Smile Train has a network of 2,100+ partner surgeons.
- Smile Train surgery provides a child with not just a new smile, but a second chance at life.
Smile Train has a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Smile Train’s model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in developing countries provide 100%- free cleft repair surgery in their communities. Join us and change the world with the power of a smile.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smile Train. The opinions and text are all mine.