The international children's medical charity will be in Yinjiang, Yunnan province from 15-22 March 2017

Project TOM is promoting Operation Smile’s mission to China to help children with facial deformities.

According to Project TOM, Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity, will be undertaking a China mission in Yingjiang, Yunnan province from 15 -22 March 2017. A team of voluntary medical professionals will perform reconstructive surgery on over 60 children with facial deformities such as cleft lip and palate.

Yunnan province has 46.6 million people but is considered a ‘remote, poor and mountainous’ region. The province has the largest number of poverty counties in China, 88 out of 832. On 24 May 2014, Yinjiang experienced a 5.6 magnitude earthquake, affecting approximately 23,800 people and destroying over 9,400 homes.

Operation Smile has been changing the lives of more than 30,000 children in China alone since 1982. The organisation has provided over 250,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips and cleft palates around the world. Approximately 1 in every 600 babies in China is born with a cleft lip and/or palate.

Project TOM adds that every 3 minutes a child somewhere in the world is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. A child born with the condition has twice the odds of dying before their first birthday. Over 200,000 children were born with severe cleft conditions each year. The condition restricts the child’s ability to eat, speak, socialise and even smile.

Worldwide, clefts are the 3rd most common birth defect and in the developing world but yet 75% of these cases go untreated.

To donate to Operation Smile and to support their cause, click here.

Yingjiang MIssion – November 2014 from Operation Smile United Kingdom on Vimeo.

Project TOM has been running since 2008 and is a voluntary non-profit group that encourages young people to engage in charity work. Volunteers come together 2-3 times a year to fundraise and support various charities around the world.

The Birmingham-based organisation has raised £45,900 for charitable causes with over 67,300 beneficiaries.

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