Client: Smile Train, Location: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
This bright young face belongs to Keren, a two-year-old from the suburbs of San Pedro Sula in Honduras. She was born with a unilateral cleft lip on the left side of her mouth. Her parents felt deeply sad and tremendously concerned about what their daughter might have to endure while growing up with this problem. Not long after her birth, however, while watching television, they happened to see Dr Luis González speaking about the surgical work he undertakes with the support of Smile Train. Just three days after watching the programme, the family travelled to the capital city, Tegucigalpa, to find Hospital Escuela where Dr González’s team are based. Being an infant, Keren was placed on the priority list. Her case was not a simple one, as it required two distinct operations. It’s testament to the team’s skill that both went extremely well, and Keren has now recovered and is learning to talk with the help of weekly speech therapy sessions.
Around the world, over 170,000 children annually are born with clefts. If not addressed early, these can lead to eating and speech problems, not to mention the psychological effects of potential discrimination and exclusion. The American NGO, Smile Train, has established access to free corrective surgery for both children and adults in their own countries. To facilitate this, it has also helped provided medical training, equipment and other resources to surgeons in 85 different countries to date.
Robin crafted a detailed and touching visual story about Keren’s life post-surgery. Such stories are essential to the sustainability of Smile Train’s work because they demonstrate its value for families and their futures, not to mention allowing us the uplifting glimpse of a healthy, bubbly smile that simply radiates joy! Without compelling visual evidence of these transformations, it would be much harder for the organisation to engage with potential supporters and raise the funds it requires.
Public health, children
16mm, ISO 10000, 1/100, f/3.2