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Hare lip surgery

Imagine the months of waiting are over and you look forward with great excitement and anticipation to the birth of your child, praying he/she has ten fingers ten toes, is fit and healthy. Too often parents suffer shock, and in many cultures, horror, that a child is born with a hare-lip and cleft palate condition. A frightening experience for any parent. If you are a poor Indonesian, with little or no income, there is little chance of finding help. In dealing with these situations, parents as a last resort hide the child away from the world, to avoid the social stigma.

The problem is prevalent -- Indonesia has a birth defect rate higher than 1 per 300 births (global average 1 per 2000) -- many of these poor children have no hope whatsoever of leading normal lives. In 1996 we at RCJM embarked on a project to eradicate hare-lip and cleft palate from the faces of young Indonesians. Despite our efforts, however, this condition continues to grow.

Local Plastic Surgeons give their time free of charge, We provide funds for the hospital, X-ray, blood test and sometimes a nutritional program (a great deal of these children are under nourished). All funds are fully controlled by Rotary Club Jakarta Menteng from beginning to the end of each child's operation.

To-date we have funded, with the help of many donors from overseas and in Indonesia along with a Rotary International Matching Grant, in excess of 700 hare-lip and cleft palate surgeries. This is not enough, as there are thousands more to help, and the numbers keep growing each year.

Under the program we have established, harelip surgery costs as little as US$200 per child; cleft palate costs only $500. With this surgery, these children can live a normal life, go to school, and face the world with courage.  Most importantly, they can smile.

Please consider joining our struggle to put smiles on these faces. Children are the future of Indonesia, and these poor children deserve a better start in life.

Key Benefits: Children receive needed surgery; More normal appearance encourages children to become normal, functioning, productive members of society.

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