Dear TF Supporters,
As with you, the Transforming Faces team in Canada continues to adapt to ‘new normals’ under COVID as some restrictions lift, while others may be poised to be reinstated. I’m pleased to provide you with a brief snapshot of our ongoing work. A through-line amidst it all is our gratitude for our community of supporters, partners, and families worldwide.
TF Supporter Update:
In early spring, we were optimistic about the possibility of gathering in person this November to celebrate TF’s 20th Anniversary at the Cleft Journey 2020. The ever-changing COVID landscape has motivated us to design an engaging and innovative virtual event in its place.
We hope that you will book November 18, 2020 at 11:45am (EST) / 8:45am (PST) / 16:45 (GMT) and join us online for a brief, interactive celebration of two decades of comprehensive cleft care and to learn more about the COVID-shaped opportunities and needs that children born with a cleft lip and palate face in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Prepare to be inspired and encouraged! RSVP →
Here is the latest sketch of how our regional partners are currently reaching out to care for children and families during COVID-19:
- In Ethiopia, TF’s local partners are providing phone-based speech therapy, social support and nutrition counselling for families affected by cleft. They hope to resume in-person services safely in the coming weeks.
- In Uganda, in-person cleft care services resumed once national lockdown restrictions eased in June. Transportation to and from the hospital remains a challenge for many families — both in terms of public transport availability and the increased costs.
- In Thailand & Myanmar, outreach to families through video and telephone is ongoing while resumption of in-person care is eagerly anticipated. The border with Myanmar remains closed, so speech therapy, counselling and feeding support are provided virtually. Read TF’s Bright Start update, made possible by our monthly supporters.
- In India, some comprehensive cleft care services have resumed with strict safety measures in place. Speech therapy is being provided virtually, with good participation and engagement from families. We recently celebrated with the team in Bangalore as an infant with a cleft palate infected with COVID recently made a full recovery, thanks to the generosity of TF supporters.
Across the Americas:
- In Peru, it is not yet safe to resume palate surgeries. Teams are working hard to offer rehabilitation care virtually via speech therapy, psychosocial support, oral health and nutrition counselling.
- In Chile, rehabilitation sessions at our partner’s families have resumed as staff follow strict safety protocols that limit the risk of contagion.
- In Argentina, dentistry and orthodontic sessions have re-started while virtual speech therapy and psychosocial care is ongoing.
- In Costa Rica, in-person cleft care is currently suspended, yet psychosocial support and speech therapy continues to grow to meet the demand from local families.
Trust and accountability for charitable impact remains front and centre at Transforming Faces during this difficult time. Even amidst the disruption of the pandemic, our team is actively supporting our partners as they care for children and families in very challenging circumstances. Our rock solid relationship with a private foundation allows us to continue to direct 100% of donations toward sustainable and comprehensive cleft care.
Executive Director, Transforming Faces