Operation Cleft has been transforming the lives of numerous underprivileged children in Bangladesh since its inception in 2005 by offering them the invaluable chance to undergo life-changing surgical procedures, free of cost, for the repair of cleft lips and palates. This intervention provides these children with the opportunity to enhance their health and well-being, and ultimately improve their social and economic prospects. The program’s ability to provide a Gift of a Smile for Life is truly remarkable, leaving a profound and positive impact on the children and their families.




Operation Cleft is a unique Rotary project that offers free cleft repair surgery to underprivileged children in Bangladesh. Sadly, cleft repair surgery is not covered under the overburdened public health care system in Bangladesh. Consequently, thousands of children grow up with untreated cleft lip and/or palate, which ostracises them from society. They often suffer from ear, nose, and throat infections, depression, and malnutrition.

By surgically repairing the cleft lip and/or palate of these children, we provide them with the opportunity to lead a normal life, obtain an education, build a social network, and reach their full potential as productive members of their community. The cost of each operation is just $AUD350.

Operation Cleft also supports the development of speech and language therapy, a relatively new service in Bangladesh, mainly limited to Dhaka. Our focus is on making speech therapy more accessible and promoting it as a post-operative program to achieve optimal outcomes, especially in young children after cleft palate repair.

Over the last three years, we have been working with community health workers, who offer basic advice to families on improving their child’s speech post-surgery.

Ideally, we like to operate on children when they are young and have not yet developed the nasal speech patterns that require correction. However, children with cleft palates are prone to infection, making it impossible to operate on them when they are first present for surgery. Instead, we must wait until they are healthy enough to tolerate the anesthetic.

We are proud of the work we have accomplished and the lives we have changed. Thank you for your continued support of Operation Cleft.









In 2005, the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central agreed to fund a pilot program of 60 cleft repair operations at the LAMB project in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Impressed by the simplicity and success of the initial trial, the club then decided to launch Operation Cleft as an international Rotary project. Word spread about this unique surgical intervention program and as other Rotary clubs heard about the work we were doing for underprivileged children in Bangladesh, they offered their support. Operation Cleft is now strongly supported by Rotary clubs across Australia.

Rotary Clubs have a commitment to International Service – Supporting Operation Cleft is a great way for clubs to honour that commitment no matter how small the club. Why not make Operation Cleft your international project. Any contribution, no matter how small, will make a huge impact on the life of an underprivileged child in Bangladesh.

If you would like to book an Operation Cleft speaker to tell your members more about this unique international project, please send us an email from the contacts page, or alternatively check for your local representative on the Ambassador section of Who’s Who.

Rotary is a worldwide organisation of business, professional and community leaders. Clubs are non-political, non-religious, and open to all. Richly rewarding, Rotary is not only a great opportunity for socialising and networking but it gives you the opportunity to give something back to the community both locally and internationally.

While developing business networking opportunities and building lifelong friendships, Rotarians experience personal growth in an organisation that is respected worldwide for its high values and standards.

Operation Cleft is an international project of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central, District 9810 Australia

Operation Cleft is recognised as a Rotary Australia World Community Services partner. RAWCS as a registered OAGDS (Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme) is the partner through which we transfer project funds to Bangladesh.

We have an office at The Glencoe Foundation Bangladesh from where the in-country administration of the project is co-ordinated.

The NGO Affairs Bureau is the Government body in Bangladesh responsible for monitoring and auditing not for profit organisations. Operation Cleft is approved by the NGO Affairs Bureau.

Guiding Principles of Rotary



‘Gift a Smile for Life’ for less than $1.50 a day

The cost of an operation to change a child’s life is $350!

For less than a dollar a day or $30 per month for a year, you can help a child have a better chance in life.

Become a Smile Donor and help us reach our Target of 1500 Smiles!

If you’d like to make an online donation click here. 


Manual Donation

For off-line Credit Card and Cheque donations


Start Fundraising 

If you would like to support our fundraising efforts


Direct EFT Donations

Name :  Operation Cleft Australia Inc
BSB :  633 000
Account Number : 1651 47935
Bank : Bendigo Bank

Please enter your name in the reference field and send an email to info@operationcleft.org.au to notify us with your postal or email address so we can send a Tax Receipt.


Gift a Smile for Life

Target 1000 Smiles

Target 1000 Smiles

Emon’s Story

When Emon was born with a cleft lip and palate, his parents were very distressed, and knowing they could never afford to pay for the repair surgery their child needed, they worried about their son’s future. Emon was brought to an Operation Cleft surgical camp and he received the professional care and operation he needed, at no charge to his family. Just a few months on from his free surgery, Emon is now a bright and bubbly little boy with a more positive future ahead of him, made possible by the exceptional skills of Bangladeshi plastic surgeons and the generosity of donations made to Operation Cleft.

In Bangladesh each year, over 5,000 babies are born with cleft lip and palate conditions. These babies are often sickly and malnourished due to feeding problems and infections. The high cost of repair surgery far exceeds the annual income of a family living below the poverty line. As cleft conditions are not considered life-threatening in Bangladesh, repair surgery is not covered by their over-burdened public healthcare system. Children with untreated cleft conditions suffer both physically and emotionally, and face a life of torment, poor health, isolation, illiteracy and in some cases, death. These children and their families are often ostracised by their communities, which perpetuates the poverty cycle. Since we started in 2005, Operation Cleft has provided free, life-altering, cleft repair surgery to over 10,700 patients. We are seeking your help to conduct 1,000 operations this year and gift another 1,000 children a Smile for Life.

Gift a Smile for Life to a child for less than $1 a day For less than a dollar a day, you can help a child like Emon a move towards a brighter future. For just $25 a month, for one year, you can fund an operation for a child in Bangladesh and gift that child a Smile for Life.

Become a monthly donor and help us reach our Target of 1000 Smiles

Fundraising Events and Campaigns

Fundraising Events & Campaigns


Wine Promotion

Wine Promotion


As the financial year comes to an end, it’s either time to celebrate an impending tax return or start to budget for paying back the gap.  And with the weather turning cold, why not sit by the fire sipping on a fabulous red from Prospect Wines – all while raising money for Operation Cleft.  Wines featured for the month of June are:

Premium South Australia Shiraz 2015

This wine is made from a selection of grapes grown in premium, South Australian wine growing regions.  It has an elegant balance of young Shiraz with spicy, peppery fragrance of fresh cassis, blackberries, plum and vanilla oak, back by scents of violets.  It can be enjoyed young and fresh or cellared for a number of years.

Grampians Shiraz 2013

This wine has been aged in French oak and is spicy mid-palate.  Rich, lingering tannins.  The fruit on the palate is dense balanced with soft oak.  Enjoy now or cellar for a few years.

Prospect Wines select the product they sell based on the quality and popularity of the wine style and the value for money it represents. They consider all of these factors when deciding which wines to market under the Prospect Wines name. Their brand and reputation are very important to them and they are proud to guarantee the quality of all their wines.

For more information about the Wine of the Month and the Operation Cleft fundraising deals from Prospect Wines

Wine of the Month

Freight – When ordering online from our unique page on the Prospect Wines web site, please ignore the prompt “Please select your correct Shipping Location for your delivery charges”. The delivery fee should show as zero.

Schools, Social & Sporting Groups

Schools, Social & Sporting Groups

Donors are the lifeblood of Operation Cleft – we couldn’t do what we do without your support, kindness and generosity.

There are numerous ways to assist Operation Cleft to provide the free, life-altering, cleft repair surgery that these underprivileged children and their families in Bangladesh require.  Operation Cleft has joined forces with Grassrootz which enables us to support your fundraising campaigns with online fundraising tools and receipting.

Schools can hold a spellathon, a fun run, even sell cookie dough.  Social and Sporting Groups can hold event nights like trivia competitions, movie previews, cycle events, fun runs, half and full marathons, weekend rides – the list is endless.

Bentleigh Secondary College – Spellathon

“The response from students and staff was fantastic. We raised enough to change the lives of ten children in Bangladesh, and it was a fantastic way to improve spelling. It also created community awareness about children in a developing country born with a cleft palate or lip and taught students about doing something for the “greater good of humanity. We would like to encourage students and teachers across Australia to get involved.”

Dr Intha Chetty, Coordinator of Bentleigh Secondary College’s literacy program.

Rotary Club of Bendigo – Golf Night
“The support we have received from local businesses for the annual Night Golf event has been amazing, and it’s great seeing teams come back year after year.  We always point out that just by playing, they are changing a child’s life forever, which really hits home with them.”

Glenn Reilly, Club President, Rotary Club of Bendigo

Operation Cleft is happy to support those that want to help us in our mission.  To find out more about what your school, social or sporting group can do and how we can help, please send your expression of interest to info@operationcleft.org.au



Corporate citizenship is the practice of investing in today’s potential for tomorrow’s success. The expected outcome is an impact on profitability through increased customer loyalty.

Accountants/LawyersSuggest Operation Cleft to your clients as a worthy and reputable charity. *Operation Cleft is audited pro bono in Australia by McPhail & partners and in Bangladesh by Rahman Rahman Huq (a KPMG partner)

Give a donation – Donations may be made via Grassroots. Alternatively if you prefer to mail your donation, you may download a donation form from the link on the donation page – All donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible in Australia.

Give a donation – $1,200 will change the lives of four children

Encourage staff to support this unique project and match their contributions.

Set a company goal of 50 – 100 operations – This will encourage increased employee satisfaction when that goal is reached.

Management’s active participation and encouragement will create a sense of corporate responsibility among employees.

Promote Operation Cleft to your customers and suppliers by including a flier and message of support in correspondence, invoices, payments or emails.



Operation Cleft has changed the lives of more than 10,275 children in Bangladesh since it started in 2005. By providing these children with the opportunity to have the cleft repair surgery they need, we are not just giving them a smile, we are giving them a happy future.

Leaving a bequest is an extraordinary act of generosity and kindness. By remembering Operation Cleft in your will, you are contributing to Operation Cleft’s vision for the poor and underprivileged in Bangladesh born with cleft defects – gifting them a “Smile for Life.”

A truly incredible act, a bequest to Operation Cleft is a gift that gives a life changing opportunity and helps Rotary’s work live on.

Suggested Will Wording

To include Operation Cleft in your will, we suggest the following wording for consideration by your Solicitor:
“I bequeath the sum of $………………… (or portion of my estate or description of property) to The Trustee for Operation Cleft Australia Foundation for its general purposes free of all duties and I declare that the receipt from an authorised officer of the organisation shall be a complete and sufficient discharge for the executor(s)”.Additional information for you and your solicitor:
• Our legal name on the ACNC Register is The Trustee for Operation Cleft Australia Foundation with our ABN: 36 063 471 446. We are also known as and trade as Operation Cleft.
• Our address is PO Box 631, Box Hill VIC 3128.
• We are endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as an income tax exempt charitable entity, and a deductible gift recipient. We are an incorporated association with DGR status as a public ancillary fund.
We very much appreciate your thinking about us for a potential bequest. If you would like to discuss any aspect of leaving a bequest to Operation Cleft and how much it will help our project, please contact our office on 03 9877 9717 or send us an email to info@operationcleft.org.au.
We very much appreciate your thinking about us.