The story of a father’s love

The story of a father’s love

The quilt you see in this photo was generously donated by Wrap-A-Smile

In Singida, Tanzania we met Maria, a beautiful 10 year old girl born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. She is the oldest of 5 children born to Jumanne and Neema and the only child born with a cleft. She is a very bright little girl but had stopped going to school because the children taunted her. Her father was so proud when he related that she could count to 100! He beamed as he told us that she enjoys singing and dancing around her house.

To support the family Maria’s father farms 3 acres – which produces 5 sacks of corn and 5 sacks of millet. The income for the family is around $300 US per year. He had taken Maria to the local clinic 3 times previously to have her clefts repaired, but had been told each time that the surgery had to be postponed. But this time Maria and her family were lucky! The Alliance for Smiles team was able to help her…

Dr. Sandy McCulloch was able to repair both her palate and lip – and did a beautiful job! When her father came into the PACU he was so very happy that he wanted to take her home immediately to show everyone her beautiful new face. Our hope for Maria is that she will return to school after she heals, and will have a long, happy life, free of her cleft!