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Transforming Faces Blog
At the end of June, Transforming Faces moved into a brand new office at 637 College Street in Toronto. We are very fortunate to have a larger space for our growing staff, but with that comes additional expenses and furniture needs.
Fortunately, we were able to secure in-kind donations from two local businesses, Green Standards and Signarama. Green Standards helps non-profits receive free, usable office furniture, equipment and supplies. Earlier this month, we were grateful to be the beneficiaries of three large filing cabinets and many binders. This donation amounted to over $1,000 in savings.
We were also thrilled to have a pro bono office sign produced and printed by Signarama. A huge thank you to Hilary Beacock at Signarama’s 873 Bay Street location for providing this generous donation which saved TF roughly $600.
As a small, cost-effective charity, we work very hard to keep our overhead costs low. To do so, we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with community partners, supporters and volunteers.
While our move-in is almost complete, we still require the following pieces to furnish the new office:
- Large boardroom table & chairs
- Small round meeting table & chairs
- Reception chairs
- Microwave stand
- Full-sized fridge
If anyone is interested in donating one of these items or would like additional information, please contact Irene Costello at Irene@transformingfaces.org or call 416-222-6581.
8-month old Herbert Odartey-Lamptey was born with a cleft lip and palate in Bortianor, Accra, Ghana. He is the second child of his parents, Alfred Maptey and Joyce Tetteh.
Herbert was admitted to our partner program at Korle Bu Hospital in October 2014. Since then, he has visited the centre over 10 times for a lip repair surgery, ear nose and throat care, counselling, and social support.
Herbert’s parents note that when their son was born, they faced stigma from their community. Joyce used to cry a lot but she says that after his first surgery, things improved dramatically.
Herbert will continue to visit Korle Bu where he will soon have his palate repaired.
Pregnancy can be daunting for many women around the world, particularly in low-income countries with limited health infrastructure. But learning your child will be born with a cleft or other birth anomaly is something few mothers-to-be are prepared for.
Soledad, 31, felt fearful and anxious when she found out her child would be born with a cleft. She sought out our partner organization in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, Fundación Gavina, where she began receiving prenatal care. With support from psychologists and foundation staff, here she was able to receive the support and education she needed to manage her health and well-being.
On July 7, 2015, Soledad gave birth to her son Ignacio. She was thrilled to welcome her newborn boy and spend time with her family. She plans to soon continue care for herself and Ignacio at Gavina.
TF and our international partner organizations believe in providing quality, comprehensive care to our patients and their families for as long as they need. For many families, this process begins long before birth and extends into adulthood. Learn more about this lifelong approach to care.
This month marks an opportunity to learn more about cleft lip and palate, a condition that affects approximately one in 700 newborns globally. Despite being one of the world’s most common birth anomalies, there is limited public understanding about the condition and its causes, particularly in the developing countries where Transforming Faces works.
Cleft lip and palate is a congenital condition that occurs when the parts that make up the lip and palate fail to fuse properly during the first 6-10 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. It affects many aspects of a child’s life including their appearance, speech, nutrition, hearing and social development.
Thankfully, cleft lip and palate can be treated using a comprehensive team approach. Treatment requires collaboration from medical professionals from a range of disciplines including: surgeons, speech therapists, dentists, orthodontists, audiologists, social workers and nurse coordinators.
While the primary surgery to repair the cleft lip and palate is crucial, up to 20 years of rehabilitation are also needed for the patient to make a full and healthy recovery. TF works to ensure the full range of services are accessible and affordable for families in developing countries. We go beyond the single surgery and focus on long-term, comprehensive patient care.
Follow us at Facebook.com/TransformingFaces or @TransformFaces to learn more about cleft lip and palate, and how we are closing the gap in cleft care!
Danielle Kuokua Asomdwe Sakyi was born with a cleft lip and palate on April 30, 2014 in Accra, Ghana. Right away, Danielle’s parents, Daniel and Emelia Sakyi, were assured that their baby would be able to receive cleft care support at TF’s partner facility, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Despite having no known family history of clefts, both parents handled the news very calmly.
Once released from the hospital, Emelia began researching cleft lip and palate on the internet and other available resources. She realized the stigma associated with the condition in Ghana and was concerned with how her friends, family and community would react. She decided not to introduce Danielle to her community members until she had received treatment.
Thankfully, Danielle had her cleft lip repair surgery in August 2014 and her palate surgery shortly after. Our team at Korle Bu stress how happy Daniel and Emelia were after the surgery and note that Danielle is “a happy girl who enjoys the love and support of her parents.”