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News from our work

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe: DZI seal of approval renewed


We are proud to announce that on September 12., 2019 the German Central Institute for Social Issues (Deutsches Zentral Institut für soziale Fragen, DZI) renewed for another year its certification of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe, the initiator of The Cleft Group, as a charity conforming to the highest standards in the efficient and responsible use of donated funds. The German Foreign Office as well as the Federal Ministry on Economic Development and Cooperation rely on the seal as part of the vetting process in applications for public subsidies.



3,160 cleft surgeries in the first half of 2019!


The first half of 2019 was very successful for the Cleft Group partners. Up until June 30, 2019, 3,160 patients could undergo their life-changing surgeries. After treating 5,088 patients in 2018, we are now hopeful to be able to treat 6,000 in 2019. Almost half of the treatments, 1,440, were performed in India, where we currently operate in 28 centres throughout the country. This great success would not have been possible if not for the efforts of our doctors and other medical professionals and of course of our donors. Thank you!



How we make a difference: Toiong Marma's new start in life

Toiong Marma came to DCKH’s cleft center, LMRF Children Hospital Chittagong, in March 2019. She was born in Bandarban district with a cleft lip as well as palate, shocking her parents, Matui and Singnu Marma. No one in their family had this type of deformity before and this event distressed them. People around their area left oblique remarks to them and made them believe that Toiong got the cleft deformity because her mother Mrs. Matui did fish scaling during lunar eclipse while she was in her womb. Others believe in rebirth and believed that Toiong did some misdeed in her first birth and got the deformity as a punishment in her next birth.

They are from Marma tribe, one of the big ethnic groups in the country. Banderban Hill Track is around 60 kilometers away from Chittagong. In hill track areas the living standard is low. People have to live without electricity, the communication system is very rough, and people still lead a primitive life style. A few families can afford solar electricity. Most of the people from hill track areas do not have an idea about life outside the area. As Toiong‘s father said “I have never been in Chittagong city in my life before, I came here for my child’s treatment”.

Mr. Singnu and Mrs. Matui make their living through “Jhum” cultivation, growing crops in hill slopes, which yields very limited harvests. Selling Jhum crops, they earn 20-25 thousand taka (less than 300 US-Dollars) yearly. So they cannot afford cleft surgery for their child. “We wanted to have a correction of the deformity since her birth, but we could not afford the cost”, Mrs Matui Marma said.

An uncle who knew about free surgery and DCKH’s weekly camps at LMRF Children hospital gave them information about the center. At the first visit to the camp, Toiong got cleft lip surgery, and on 2nd July, 2019 she got her cleft palate surgery. Toiong's family are very happy with the correction and want to work as agents for changing lives of cleft children around their locality.

Toiong will come to the center for a follow up after three months. We hope all will be well with her and she will have a happy life.