Every year Smile Train celebrates World Smile Day®; a day devoted to creating smiles and acts of kindness.
For World Smile Day® this year, we decided to invite all of our friends within the cleft community – as well as the wider general public – to join in with our celebrations, by taking part in a special social media campaign called #ItStartsWithASmile.
As part of the campaign, we asked people from all over the UK to share their favourite ‘smile selfie’ on Instagram, using the hashtag #ItStartsWithASmile and tagging Smile Train UK.
On World Smile Day® we were delighted to see that the #ItStartsWithASmile campaign had such a fantastic response; with over 60 Instagram stories and 32 Instagram grid posts shared by people all over the UK, whose combined following helped our campaign to reach more than 590,000 people. That’s a lot of smiles!
Every year, 200,000+ new babies are born with a cleft globally. This includes the UK however; you rarely see children with clefts in this area because treatment is offered for free on the NHS and begins soon after the child has been born.
In other areas of the world, many children are not as fortunate. Families in these regions often do not have access to quality healthcare services or the resources to pay for proper cleft treatment or comprehensive cleft care. Without the proper treatment, children may have difficulties with eating, breathing, speaking and hearing – and will often be isolated from their communities.
Smile Train is tackling this worldwide issue, by empowering local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive.
Thank you to everyone who supported the #ItStartsWithASmile campaign and shared a smile with us on World Smile Day® this year. By taking part you have helped us to raise awareness of our cause – allowing us to continue to create forever smiles for children with clefts globally!
For more information about Smile Train and the work that we do, please visit: www.smiletrain.org.uk