Story: Cleft palate is the term used for a deformation of the roof of the mouth. The exact reason for the deformity is unclear, however it is believed that it is a combination of congenital defects and environmental factors including malnutrition. If one child is born with a cleft palate, the risks of their siblings suffering the same deformity increases. Cleft palates will significantly restrict a child's and subsequently adult's ability to integrate in to society - instead, suffering societal discrimination.
Problem: Cleft palates are up to three times more likely to occur in emerging nations. Vietnam currently has an estimated backlog of 20,000 children requiring surgery.
Solution: The Consular Club has contributed funding to Operation SMILE to assist with the additional costs involved for doctors, who donate their services to rectify the problem, to provide children with a more "normal" life.