Our Approach

Smile Train works with local medical partners around the world to bring free cleft treatments and lifesaving care to children in need 365 days a year.

Smile Train's Approach to Cleft

Sustainable Model

Our unrivalled "teach a man to fish" model focuses on training local professionals to provide a continuum of world-class cleft care in their own communities. Those trained go on to train their peers, thereby creating a sustainable system for ongoing cleft care.

Sustainable Model Items

Our Model

Smile Train is the world’s largest cleft-focused organisation, with a sustainable and local model of supporting life-changing surgery and other essential care.


For most children with clefts, surgery alone is not enough. That's why we also sponsor nutritional support, dental care, orthodontic treatment, speech therapy, and other essential, comprehensive services that free our patients to not only smile, but thrive.

Where We Work

We fund 100 %-free cleft treatment to children and adults with clefts in 75+ countries through our network of local medical professionals.

Our Impact at a Glance


empowered medical partners


cleft surgeries sponsored since 1999


partner hospitals


training opportunities for cleft professionals worldwide


countries where Smile Train has helped children
Why Smile Train Works with Clefts

Why Clefts?

Learn more about clefts and why we chose this issue.