Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Smile Train in Haiti

Posted by Chris on April 17, 2008

The Smile Train ( is a really cool charity. They perform cleft-lip surgeries in poor countries. They are not the only group doing so, but are arguably the best at what they do. They practice a business-like, efficient operating model. It has allowed them to quickly increase the number of operations, passing the 300,000 mark recently. I think they just passed 200,000 last year, so they are doing quite well.

For people like you and I, the Smile Train has a great offer for donating money. All donations go towards surgeries- they have other funding for overhead. $250 funds one surgery. It changes a life. It can take away depression and social stigma and make available opportunities for a successful life. The video above is from a recent trip that the Smile Train founder made to Haiti.

Haiti: makes me so sad. So close to us in the US, it really is “our neighbor.” There is such physical proximity to our borders that we cannot ignore the plight of the Haitian people as something happening “over there.” It is under our watch. Furthermore, our government has been very active in the last 20 years, “influencing” its leadership. Watching this video reminded me of reading Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, an account of the doctor/anthropologist/public health expert Paul Farmer who opened a health clinic in Haiti. Farmer, while not a Christian, is guided by liberation theology and the message of Matthew 25 to care for the “least of these.” He sees Haiti as his neighbor, so much so that he forsook his Harvard coursework to do clinic work, returning only to take his tests. What can I do


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