Violet Receives Her Mother's Blessing

Violet with her mom

As an elementary school teacher, Blessing Awa knew how poorly children with untreated clefts were treated in her community. So, when her own daughter was born with a cleft lip, she acted out of fear and abandoned her daughter, leaving the newborn with family members without even giving her a name.

Violet's mom

A week after the birth, Blessing fortuitously met Smile Train staff member Violet Taku, who assured her that clefts were common and that assistance was available. Violet took Blessing to a local Smile Train partner hospital where she said, “I saw babies just like mine and they would leave looking completely changed.”

Violet visits Smile Train staff

Next, Violet organised support group meetings for Blessing, where she learned that she wasn’t alone in her struggles and was comforted by the success stories from the mothers of former Smile Train patients. After all of her questions were answered, Blessing knew that she needed to finally give her child a name. She decided to name her after the woman whose immense support eased her anxiety and fears — she named her daughter Violet Hope.

Violet hugs mom

At the age of three months, Violet Hope received Smile Train sponsored cleft surgery. After seeing her child’s new smile, Blessing was finally relieved of all anxiety and fear, and accepted her daughter with love and care.

Violet's mom holds image before cleft surgery

When asked what she would now tell other mothers who are facing the same challenge, Blessing replied, “When I meet a mother like this, I will say, ‘You must accept your child. Don’t worry. There is nothing to worry about with Smile Train on your side.’ ”

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