We are a charity focused on providing permanent, sustainable, ways to improve cleft care in both the UK and overseas. Supporting a variety of projects we are helping improve the lives of people born with clefts in many different ways. Broadly they can be described in two categories.
Firstly through our sponsorship of research projects in the UK, we are helping to identify the likely causes of clefts, and to find ways in which to improve the treatment and outcomes for children born with a cleft.
And secondly our projects in other countries aim to support local medical teams to provide long-term treatment and care for people less privileged born with clefts.
A core principle of CLEFT is to invest in research projects that study the cause and treatment of clefts. When it comes to clefts, there is still so much that is unknown.
The progression of knowledge and understanding of clefts is therefore a key component in improving the methods used by surgeons, speech therapists and other medical professionals, to treat and provide quality, long-term care for all people born with clefts, both in the UK and overseas.
CLEFT works with local surgeons and other specialists in several lower income countries to help them develop high quality multidisciplinary CLEFT centres.
We do this by visiting and working with local teams regularly, helping to provide education and training, and donating much-needed equipment.
We do not pay for individual operations, and we do not send large and expensive short-term “parachute missions”, to perform many operations in a short space of time, but often ultimately leaving nothing behind.
Our goal is to support local teams so that children born with clefts in these countries will have the same opportunities of having quality cleft care as those in the UK.