Group of mums with children in slings


Operation Smile is a global leader in the delivery of high quality surgical services in low and middle income countries. Our surgeries are definitive turning points in the lives of our patients and their families.

For more than 30 years, we have treated the symptoms of cleft conditions. But in the countries where we operate, the prevalence of cleft is merely a symptom of the true underlying causes – limited health resources, poor infrastructure, and significant barriers to care.

That is why we are committed to play our part to change the way surgical care is delivered to the world. Our proven, scalable model enhances the capacity for safe surgery through multidisciplinary training and standards development, and our global track record positions us as a leader without parallel.

At the heart of our work are the children living with a cleft condition, and forced to ensure physical pain, suffering and unimaginable social stigma. We want to reach and treat all of these children, whilst benefiting the health system of the communities in which they exist – with the help of philanthropic individuals and foundations, we can make our dream a reality.


  • A tailored recommendation for your gift and individual understanding of your needs as a donor
  • Detailed reporting on the impact of your gift
  • The opportunity to visit our projects and see first-hand how your donation is changing lives and connect with those we help
  • The opportunity to connect with the global senior leadership of Operation Smile and attend bespoke, prestigious events


We partner with a wide range of supporters, trusts & foundations and are proud of the contribution that they make to helping those living with a cleft condition around the world.



We are working with the UBS Optimus Foundation on a pilot project in the rural Las Minas region of Nicaragua. The objectives of the “Surgery for the People” project are to demonstrate that primary hospital-level surgical care, particularly for children, can be successfully implemented with improved access and outcomes, and to identify key components of successful implementation to enable scalability of surgical services in underserved areas.

As well as upgrades to infrastructure and equipment, and ongoing training programmes, we are implementing a patient access programme and increasing local stakeholder engagement. This will better utilise and strengthen existing resources and will lead to increased quantity and quality of primary hospital surgical treatment in a rural health district.


The Kentown Wizard Foundation fully supported an international medical mission to Zomba, Malawi in April 2016. Thanks to the generosity of the foundation, 103 children and 17 adults were provided with life changing surgery that will change the trajectory of their lives forever. The mission also provided significant training & educational services to local medical staff, building sustainable resource in country and ensuring that more children will be able to receive safe, timely and effective surgery.

We are also delighted to announce that in 2018 a grant from the foundation has been made to eradicate the backlog of cleft patients in Malawi.

This $5.3million pledge will fund a minimum five-year project that will aim to eradicate the backlog of cleft in Malawi and change thousands of children’s lives. The robust programme which has been designed by Operation Smile and will launch on 1st July 2018, includes nutritional support and education and training initiatives to upskill Malawian healthcare workers to build a sustainable and self-perpetuating ability to provide cleft care in the country. Operation Smile are the Malawian Ministry of Health’s official “cleft partner” and engagement with the healthcare system is an integral part of the Cleft Free Malawi project plan.

Operation Smile will work with their global network of medical volunteers to conduct an average of five medical missions per year with the intention of eradicating cleft condition in 2,400 patients over the course of the project.

The Kentown Wizard Foundation is a lasting legacy for Kenneth Townsley who has vowed to use his fortune earned from the sale of his travel business to Thomas Cook in 2009, to help benefit children living with life-limiting conditions. Mr Townsley has chosen to support Operation Smile because of the work they do worldwide providing free surgeries for children in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial conditions.


With the support of Duncan Bannatyne and The Bannatyne Group, the Bannatyne Charitable Trust has fully funded two international medical missions to Ghana, in 2015 and 2016, and an international medical mission to the Philippines in 2018.  In total, their support has helped Operation Smile provide surgery for over 420 children and adults. We are delighted to have been able to treat so many people thanks to their ongoing generosity, changing lives all over the world.


For more information on how you or your foundation can be involved with Operation Smile, please contact us:

Emanuela Piccolo | Trust & Foundation Manager

+44 (0)20 3475 5126 |