World Smile Day®, a day devoted to smiles and acts of kindness, will be celebrated by people all over the world on the 2nd of October. Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft organization, through its local entity, Smile Train Philippines, will be hosting an online event to raise awareness for children with clefts. Together with Smile Train ambassadors Marian Rivera, Catriona Gray, and Megan Young, the charity launches #540Today to convey and champion the 540 babies around the world who are born with a cleft every day.
The crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions all over the world, including children born with a cleft lip and/or palate. With the global lockdown pushing for cities to establish stringent rules and regulations, thousands of babies are left untreated. It is estimated that COVID-19 has forced Smile Train partners to put more than 33,000 cleft surgeries on hold this year.
“Despite the pandemic, Smile Train is keen on celebrating all of the people who have contributed to their work and help change the lives of babies born with untreated clefts in the Philippines,” said Smile Train South East Asia Director Kimmy Flaviano. “We’ve adapted various avenues and utilized technology to reach more patients and communities in the Philippines.”
The event, which will be hosted Live on the Smile Train Philippines Facebook page at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, will allow Smile Train to bring more smiles into the homes of the Filipinos. More Smile Train ambassadors such as Tim Yap, Barbie Forteza, and Paul Marney Leobrera will take part in the festivities to encourage people to raise awareness for #540Today. They all share their experiences working with Smile Train and raise awareness for access to proper medical care and financial assistance needed by children born with cleft lip and/or palate.
Smile Train’s Team Empower will also take part in the celebration by inviting everyone to Ride for Smile Train Home Edition. Ride for Smile Train Home Edition is a virtual experience that will utilize two fitness platforms, Strava and Zwift, to challenge, engage, and grow the community of Smile Makers. Moreover, Smile Train long-standing fitness partners, Beyond Yoga and Electric Studio, will be offering classes to help promote the cause. Beyond Yoga will be hosting a free yoga class on Facebook while Electric Studio will offer their Ride, Box, HIIT, Strength, and Flow classes for the benefit of Smile Train Philippines.
Smile Train acknowledges the support and collaboration of its donors, partners, and ambassadors around the world as they continue to transform the lives of patients with cleft and help improve their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. The pandemic may have posed a challenge to the charity, but it is committed to applying sustainable solutions that would be of great help to their beneficiaries.
“Smile Train has always been and will continue to remain steadfast in advocating for children with cleft and to providing free surgery and comprehensive cleft care to them. With the help of all our partners, we can truly make a difference to create more smiles,” shared Flaviano.
For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please visit smiletrain.ph, follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.