Every single one of the 2019 Miss Universe contestants showed up for the kickoff event on Sunday, Dec. 1, in Atlanta as a week of pageant activities got underway leading up to the crowning of the a new Miss Universe next Sunday, Dec. 8 at Tyler Perry Studios.
This first event was to honor the Smile Train.
Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.
Many children with clefts around the world live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is safe, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training, funding, and resources to empower local medical professionals in 90+ countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.
We use the “teach a man to fish” model focusing on training local medical professionals to perform cleft repairs in their communities. Those medical professionals then go on to train others creating a long-term, sustainable system.
Patients see their forever smile for the first time, parents cry tears of joy, lives and communities are changed forever.
The 2019 Miss Universe and now part of this forever smile as they decorated mirrors at this event that will eventually be given to children around the world having the surgery.
Clefts are a very common birth difference. Globally, an estimated 1 out of every 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Smile Train aims to support families affected by cleft in learning about comprehensive care needs.
In a country like India, where clefts are a big problem, it brings new perspective to the entire culture.
“I’m very happy to be here,” said Vartika Singh, Miss India. “I think Smile Train is doing a fantastic job. Seeing it firsthand in India, I was not aware of it. But more than being aware, people cannot afford it. Some of those in India have this mentality; that if it isn’t life threatening, they kind of go on with it. Smile Train is giving them another option and another way to think about things.”
Smile Train is doing good work around the world.
As a result of our efficiency and with the support of our donors and partners around the world, Smile Train has transformed the lives of more than 1.5 million children by giving them the power of a smile.
Ways you can give to Smile Train: https://www.smiletrain.org/donate/ways-donate