ABOUT OPERATION CLEFT AUSTRALIA
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.