Transforming Faces Blog

Speech Therapy Outreach in Ethiopia

December 19th, 2014 by

In Ethiopia, there is a severe shortage of qualified speech therapists and a lack of awareness about a comprehensive approach to cleft care. In response, TF’s speech therapist and assistant speech therapist partners at Yekatit 12 hospital organized a speech therapy outreach program for medical professionals, patients and their families.

The outreach program took place from December 1 to 5, 2014 at the Chesire Services Ethiopia compound in Dire Dawa. Chesire Services Ethiopia is a non-profit dedicated to providing orthopedic and social support for children with disabilities. Together, they were able to create a safe and comfortable environment to provide speech therapy assessments for postoperative patients and training for medical professionals working in the field of cleft care and disability.Picture5 (2)   

Many patients took part in week-long speech therapy assessments and treatment. Of this group, six were existing patients at Yekatit 12. All the patients were happy to be involved and very receptive to the therapy provided. During lunchtime, patients also had the opportunity to socialize with their therapists and one another with games of frisbee and volleyball.

As part of the program, awareness training was also provided to nearly 30 participants made up of physiotherapists, ortho-technicians, community rehabilitation workers, social welfare workers and others from Dire Dawa, Project Harar and other community organizations.

The patients and trainees involved were all very engaged in the program and felt that it was a positive experience. Many of these participants expressed a desire to bring what they learned back to their respective communities and further raise awareness about speech therapy, and the services offered at Yekatit 12.


Training and outreach initiatives like this one that bring members of the community together is key to improving multidisciplinary cleft care services in Ethiopia. Mesay, TF’s partner speech therapist notes that “[rehabilitation] is the combined effort of professionals, community, local and international institutions, the government and many others that bring change in the lives of persons with disabilities.”


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Health & Education Day in Peru

December 8th, 2014 by

Recently, our Peruvian partner program kusiROSTROS hosted its 4th Annual Health and Education Day for families of children with cleft lip and palate. 

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The purpose of the event was to bring the local cleft community together and raise awareness about the importance of a comprehensive approach to cleft care. Once again, it was a huge success with roughly 200 children and 200 parents and caregivers in attendance. The fun-filled day included face painting, a drawing and painting contest, live music, and arts and crafts classes for parents. New patients also had the opportunity to get health evaluations in each cleft care discipline including: surgery, nursing, dentistry, speech therapy and psychology. 

Health and Education Day took place at one of our Community Rehabilitation Centres (CRCs) in San Martin de Porres, a community in Peru’s capital city. Currently, Transforming Faces and kusiROSTROS have established five CRCs around the periphery of Lima to ensure families of children with cleft have access to quality and comprehensive cleft care close to home. 

DSCN4907According to kusiROSTROS Director Maria Teresa Torres Morales, “the parents were very happy to see a Comprehensive Care Centre become a reality for people with cleft lip and palate.” KusiROSTROS has also recently launched an exciting partnership with the teaching hospital at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH). The state-of-the-art UPCH facility now hosts one of CRCs and serves as a Dental Referral Centre for more complex cases. 

 Learn more about our Peru programsDSCN2147 (2)

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TF Finalist for Charitable Governance Award

December 3rd, 2014 by

VSRA Awards

Transforming Faces was recently announced as a finalist for the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards (VSRA), Canada’s largest charity awards!

The VSRAs are run annually by the CPA-Queen’s Centre for Governance at Queen’s University, in partnership with CPA Ontario and leading accounting firm, Grant Thornton. The Awards are dedicated to improving industry transparency and governance by recognizing Ontario’s best non-profit Annual Reports. 

TF is a proud finalist in the ‘international focused charities’ category alongside Canadian Feed the Children and WaterAid. As an organization committed to strong accountability , transparency and governance, we are thrilled to be recognized as one of this year’s finalists.

Winning charities will be announced February 6, 2015 in Toronto and will receive a $5,000 award. Stay tuned for the results! 

Download Transforming Faces’ 2013 Annual Report or learn more about the VSRAs

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Giving Tuesday

November 28th, 2014 by




For many shoppers, the holiday season is kicked off with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  But now, Canadians also have a day dedicated entirely to giving back. Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement focused on making a difference in  your community by giving or volunteering on December 2, 2014. 

Transforming Faces would be honoured to have your support this Giving Tuesday. Below you will find a list of ways you can get involved and help transform the lives of children born with cleft lip and palate:


valentino7Transforming Faces is a Canadian charity dedicated to providing multidisciplinary cleft care for people born with cleft lip and palate. While surgery is important, TF recognizes that it’s just the beginning of the journey. In reality, cleft patients require years of other treatments, from speech therapy to orthodontic work, which are rarely accessible or affordable. TF seeks to change that. 

Our multi-disciplinary approach to cleft care not only physically transforms faces, but also radically changes the trajectory of a child’s life by allowing them to finish school, start families, and participate in society without fear of discrimination (see Lives Transformed)

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Note that 100% of all donations go directly to our international programs thanks to a private foundation that 
covers our overhead expenses. All donations over $200 will also be matched so your impact will be doubled! 


We hope you’ll join Canadians in celebrating Giving Tuesday and help us close the gap in cleft care! If we can provide any support, please get in touch at 416-222-6581 or by email

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Transform the Holidays

November 27th, 2014 by

Transform the Holidays

This holiday season, Transforming Faces invites our amazing supporters to help us transform the lives of children with cleft lip and palate. Roughly one in 700 babies are born with cleft lip and palate, and, while it is treatable with surgery and rehabilitation, comprehensive cleft care information and services are inaccessible or altogether unavailable in most parts of the world.

There are countless ways you can revamp your usual holiday traditions into an opportunity to raise awareness about comprehensive cleft care and change a child’s life forever!  Here are some ideas:

Host an event

  • Festive potluck dinner
  • Holiday movie marathon
  • Gift wrapping party
  • Holiday bake sale
  • Ugly Christmas sweater party

Get crafty for a cause

  • Sell handmade ornaments and holiday decorations
  • Knit and sell cozy winter accessories

Request donations in lieu of gifts

  • Not sure what to ask for? Helping put a smile on a child’s face would make a pretty amazing and meaningful gift!

Make a New Year’s resolution that counts

  • Set a goal and collect pledges to help you achieve it. 

Download our Transform the Holidays Kit for ideas and information to get you started. 

For questions or assistance, please contact Courtney at 416-222-6581 or by email

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