Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

A reflection on the last 15 years from Director of Smile Train UK, Ian Vallance

OVER the last twelve months, Smile Train UK has teamed up with Charity Today to celebrate fifteen years of making a difference in the lives of children with clefts all over the world. 

Director of Smile Train UK, Ian Vallance, reflects on the support and generosity of our wonderful UK-based supporters and its impact:

“At Smile Train, our vision is to create a world where everyone has access to safe, high-quality, comprehensive cleft care and can live a full and healthy life. 

“When setting out this vision for Smile Train, our founder, Charles Wang, took inspiration from the wisdom of Confucius: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” He believed that by investing in local doctors, trusting them with the latest tools and techniques— then having those trained go on to train others — he could bring sustainable world-class cleft care to everyone in need. 365 days a year.”  

“Since its global inception in 1999, Smile Train has performed over 1.5 million cleft surgeries in over 90 countries. To do this, we have trained over 2,100 medical professionals in their own communities at over 1,100 partner hospitals. 

“At Smile Train UK, we are thrilled to have played a part in reaching these phenomenal figures, and we couldn’t have done it without the incredible support we receive from our family of fundraisers, supporters, and donors here in the UK.

“The contribution and support we receive day in, day out is truly invaluable. Our Big Smile Tea Parties, World Smile Day campaigns, Yoga for Smiles initiatives, and our hugely popular Christmas Carol Concert are highlights in our calendar. We also continue to be inspired by the individuals and groups who participate in Smile Train UK’s fundraising challenges.”

“So, as the curtain closes on another challenging year, we look forward to seeing what we can continue to achieve over the next fifteen years and beyond. Changing the world, one smile at a time.”

To learn more about Smile Train UK, please visit:


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