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Transforming Faces Blog
Join us on Thursday, May 15 from 6pm at First Canadian Place, 100 King St. W., Toronto, ON to Celebrate Lives Transformed!
100% of proceeds from Beautiful Before & After will go directly towards our global cleft programs, thanks to a private charitable foundation that covers our low overhead.
Not sure what to expect? Check out last year’s photos!
On March 25, members from our local Ethiopian partner spent time raising awareness about cleft lip and palate.
They spoke with 40 students from Special Needs Department at Addis Ababa University. The team explained the holistic approach to cleft care and the psychosocial effects of cleft lip and palate, such as bullying.
The students, who are from 10 different regions of Ethiopia, will now act as referrers to the project when they encounter potential cleft lip and palate patients.
The team has been working closely with schools to raise awareness and build a referral network. They wanted to specifically focus on the psychosocial effects of cleft, so they also invited elementary school teachers to learn more. Approximately 15 teachers from different schools and six parents attended. Some former patients shared their story.
Sintyeh Hilu is a 27 year old who was born with bilateral cleft lip and palate. She underwent cleft lip and palate surgery when she was 3 years old and visited Yekatit to receive speech therapy and counselling. She also underwent an ear surgery in 2012. Now, she is a teacher in Addis Ababa and wanted to share her story. She was teased often and got low grades at school because her speech was not great.
Sintyeh shared her story with the attendees and recounted: “One day, after I finished class, I was walked back to the office and I saw teachers laughing. When they saw me, they became silent. When I looked into the room, I saw that there was a student with a cleft lip and palate. They had been laughing at her speech. I immediately started to fight with them.”
The team hopes this awareness event will help reduce bullying and will allow more children to be referred to the program.
In Ethiopia, we partner with Yekatit 12 Hospital, located in Addis Ababa. It is the only hospital that provides multidisciplinary treatment for cleft lip and palate and also hosts the country’s only dedicated Speech Therapy unit.
The team faced electrical cuts and lack of anaesthetists, yet they were able to provide primary, secondary surgeries, alveolar bone grafts and rhinoplasties to 92 patients.
Social work and counselling have played a larger role in the team’s activities in 2013. A parent group session took place last year, which allowed parents to learn more about speech, language and communication stimulation. The team’s social worker attended to 62 patients and provided counselling to 36 families.
Development of Ethiopia’s first degree program for Speech and Language Therapy
There is a severe shortage of speech therapists in Ethiopia. In order to bridge this gap, curriculum development for the newly created Speech Therapy program at Addis Ababa University is underway. Despite the lack of speech therapists in Ethiopia, the team was still able to provide speech therapy treatment to 23 patients through 144 speech sessions.
- In total, the team treated 233 patients and provided 896 interventions.
- At the ENT department, 37 cleft lip and palate patients were evaluated and grommet tubes were inserted for six patients.
- They also conducted a tympanoplasty for one patient.
- Orthodontics assessment, treatment, follow up, oral hygiene and dental care was provided to 74 patients.
- Eight residents are now being trained at the plastic and reconstructive surgery unit at the Addis Ababa University College of health Sciences surgical department.
- A new surgical unit is under construction
National Volunteer Week is taking place this week!
We just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU to all of our wonderful volunteers who have helped us raise awareness about cleft lip and palate and transform lives!
Thank you to our Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Committee, and our fundraising committee. We would like to also extend our gratitude to our volunteers, in-kind supporters and vendors who donate their time and expertise.
Volunteer with us!
We do not facilitate volunteers overseas. However, we occasionally rely on volunteers to assist our office in Toronto with events, administrative work, or research. Would you like to help us build awareness through fundraising, social media, or public engagement? Sign up here.
We are currently seeking members to join Friends of Transforming Faces. You can view the opportunity here.
Last week, TF exhibited at the ACPA’s 71st Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN!
In addition to our exhibit booth, TF was also present to honour Maria Teresa Torres de Salcedo, who has been chosen as the recipient of the 2014 CPF Leadership Award. She was honoured at the ACPA annual award luncheon.
Before her trip to Indianapolis, Maria Teresa visited the Cleft Lip and Palate Program at SickKids. Click here to read more about her visit.