Transforming Faces Blog

Salsa Day is Finally Here!

October 1st, 2015 by

Every fall, friends of Transforming Faces gather at Toronto’s Lula Lounge to socialize, dance and celebrate lives transformed. Tonight, we’re thrilled to host our 6th Annual Salsa for Smiles event… and hopefully the most successful one yet! 

What’s on the program?

Salsa for Smiles

The event gets started at 6pm tonight, with a professional salsa performance from Steps Dance Studio and beginner lessons starting shortly after around 7pm. We’ll then open up the dance floor to see your moves in action, and listen to some live music from DJ Jimmy Suave and Salsa Norte. Don’t forget to fill out the ballot on your ticket for the chance to win some great door prizes!

And that’s not all! We have some special surprises in store for you, including our first-ever Spice Bucket Challenge featuring Toronto firefighters. Salsa guests will have the opportunity to challenge friends to try a series of extra-spicy, eye-watering salsas for a $10 donation. All participants will be entered in a draw for the chance to win a 2-night stay at Blue Mountain in Collingwood.

We’ll also have a fabulous silent auction prize up for grabs. It includes two round-trip flights anywhere WestJet flies (it’s a long list!), hula dance lessons and more. Check out the Silent Auction table for details.

How to get there?front-lula

Never been to Lula Lounge? No problem. Click here for directions to the venue.

Are food and drinks included with my ticket?

No but Lula Lounge has a full menu and cash bar available to you… including delicious Sangria! Lula Lounge will generously donate $4 from every litre and $2 from every half litre of Sangria purchased to Transforming Faces.  

Can I still get tickets?

Yes, but hurry… they are running low! You can give us a call at 416-222-6581 to reserve a last minute ticket before 2:00pm or purchase it at the door for $35 (cash or cheque please). 

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Meet Debora from Ghana

September 23rd, 2015 by

One-year-old Debora Elorm Amenordoh was born with cleft lip and palate in the Madina region of Accra, Ghana. Her parents, Godson and Elizabeth, were referDeborared to Korle Bu Hospital’s cleft care services by nurses and doctors at the nearby Ridge Hospital.

Since September 2014, Debora received nine treatment interventions at Korle Bu. Thankfully, her family was able to easily access care services 20 kilometres from their home. They note that the surgery, counseling and treatment provided has been very comforting and helpful. But it has not been easy for the family – when Debora was born with a cleft, extended family members shunned she and her parents.

Social stigma and community acceptance are major challenges for patients born with cleft lip and palate, and their families. The issue often stems from limited public awareness of the condition and superstitious/cultural beliefs around the causes of clefts. By involving social workers, psychologists and nurses in the treatment process early on, we’re able to help educate families, alleviate the shame they often feel, and build the child’s confidence.

Learn more about our comprehensive approach.   

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An Update from Yeabsra & Family

September 17th, 2015 by


Yeabsra Update Septe 2015_2Yeabsra Gebeyhu Hailmarim was five years old when she first made the trip from her home in Ethiopia to Toronto for complex craniofacial surgery. Despite arriving on a cold winter night after a 20-hour journey, Yeabsra greeted our team with open arms and a big smile. She has since remained an integral part of the Transforming Faces’ family.

Supported by Transforming Faces and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)’ Herbie Fund, Yeabsra underwent her first facial cleft repair surgery in April 2011. About six months later, Yeabsra and her mother, Aynalem, returned to Canada for three additional surgeries to repair her forehead and nose. And, finally, in June 2012, Yeabsra underwent her fourth and last surgery at SickKids.

Now, over three years later, Yeabsra continues to receive comprehensive cleft care, including social support, from our partners in Ethiopia, Yekatit 12 Hospital. Today, the team notes that she is her usual happy self and has begun the fifth grade. According to her father, Yeabsra’s school performance has improved and she feels well-accepted by her peers. He notes that Yeabsra and the whole family are still very thankful for the support they received in Canada and the positive impact it has had on their lives. 

Yeabsra explains that she gets along well with her classmates and has many friends at school. She spends her free time drawing and enjoying time with friends. 

Read Yeabsra’s full story or find out more about work in Ethiopia

Yeabsra Update Sept 2015





















Yeabsra with her brother Abel in September 2015. 


Yeabsra update Sept 2015 3

Yeabsra with TF Project Manager, Laura Lewis-Watts, in Ethiopia in September 2015. 

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Spicing Things Up at Salsa for Smiles!

September 10th, 2015 by

Salsa for SmilesTransforming Faces’ annual Salsa for Smiles fundraising event is fast approaching! On October 1, 2015, we’ll have salsa performers, live music, a beginner salsa dance lesson, door prizes and all the regular fixings of our signature fall event.


But this year, we’re mixing things up with some special, extra spicy surprises!

 The Spice Bucket Challenge

Irene's Photos- July 2015 004

On October 1, TF will launch its first-ever Spice Bucket Challenge to support lives transformed. Salsa for Smiles guests will have the chance to challenge friends to sample a series of extra-hot, eye-watering salsas ranked according to the Scoville Heat Scale. Participation is $10; if they fail to complete the challenge, they pay. If they make it through the challenge in one piece, you pay.  

To help keep the heat in check, we’ll have a group of Toronto firefighters doling out the snacks. In addition, for every $10 spent participating in the Spice Bucket Challenge, you will be entered in a draw for the chance to win a two-night stay at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood! 

A huge thank you to Hot Sauces Unlimited and Frito-Lay for the generous salsa and chip in-kind donations.

A World of Dance

Put your new salsa skills to test in an exotic destination!  

This year, we’ll also have an incredible prize package up for grabs featuring round-trip flights for two anywhere West Jet flies! Possible destinations are endless including: most major Canadian and US cities, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland and many more.

Check out the silent auction table at the event to place your bids and win.


If you’re mouth is on fire after too much hot salsa, we’ve got just the ticket. Lula Lounge has generously agreed to donate $2 from every half litre and $4 from every litre of sangria purchased to Transforming Faces. 

Need a Ticket?

Salsa for Smiles tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 or at the door for $35. For tickets via PayPal, click here. For alternative ticket purchase options, contact us at 416-222-6581 or by email. Buy 5 tickets and get 1 free!

For additional details on the event, click here

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Job Opportunity: Executive Director

September 9th, 2015 by

Position: Executive Director

Location:  Toronto

Applications are being accepted for a new leader who is driven to deliver results.  Reporting to the Chair of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) provides leadership to ensure that TF accomplishes its strategic objectives, vision and mission. In doing so, he/she works in close consultation with staff and the Board of Directors to establish, implement and manage organizational goals, policies and strategic directions. The ED manages and inspires staff in the organization to run a small and efficient operation with the support of Canadian and international donors.

The position is based in Toronto on a full-time basis but will require travel nationally and internationally. Applicants with the following attributes are encouraged to apply:

  • Strong senior management track record with at least eight years’ of experience in a like sized humanitarian organization with an international scope
  • Strong experience and understanding of international development practices and trends — flexibility to travel internationally
  • Strong skills in organizational management, program development, and in the management of administrative, human resource and financial management systems.
  • Self – starter, entrepreneurial and capable of bringing partners together and making things happen
  • Experience working with a non-profit board
  • Brings a proven track record of working well with funders (including private foundations and major donors) in the development of new partnerships.
  • Brings basic exposure to best fundraising practices and extensive knowledge of Canadian laws and regulations with respect to employment and charity management.
  • Excellent communications and relationship building skills       
  • University degree

If someone you know may be interested in this position please feel free to forward this document – we’d be pleased to connect with them.

This search is being conducted on behalf of Transforming Faces by crawfordconnect, a search firm specializing in recruiting leaders for Canada’s non-profit sector. Qualified applicants are invited to submit their resume and letter of interest online only, in confidence, prior to September 28, 2015 at and cite position #42 in the subject line.

For additional information please reach out to Carmen Jeffery at We request all applications be submitted online only at  

We thank all candidates for applying, however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. 

Job Description – Executive Director

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