cleft lip/palate children.
Every three minutes a child is born into the world with a cleft lip or palate. It is the most common deformity in the world (also in this country) and it causes massive drinking, swallowing and speaking impairments. In addition, this type of malformation is a stigma for children, causing them a great deal of emotional suffering. Due to their deformity, colloquially known as a harelip, they are often mocked, hidden away or even cast out from the community. This cruel and lifelong fate can sometimes be averted by just one operation in childhood.
The partner in this project is the charitable association ‘Verein Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V.’, headquartered in Freiburg. It gives sufferers access to the necessary operations and also important subsequent treatment like ENT, orthodontics, followed by speech and function therapy. In all project countries the association works with well-trained local surgeons, who also provide the children with post-operative care. Modern development aid is pursued; there are no hand-outs that create dependency. On the contrary, the project also promotes medical development in the project countries, so helps people to help themselves.
The Margarete Müller-Bull Foundation provides practical support: it sponsors operations and post-operative care for cleft lip children in the deprived regions of the world to give these children the chance to lead a normal life without disability, without the danger of becoming social outcasts or discrimination.
Cleft lip children, no matter whether in India, Bangladesh, Peru, Bolivia, Vietnam, Uganda, Ruanda or the Philippines, have no lobby and their families have no money for treatment. Happiest of all and endlessly grateful are the sorely afflicted mothers when they receive help for their children.