To increase access to cleft care throughout the country, TF partnered with three additional cleft organizations focused on newborn nutrition, speech therapy and community outreach. In response to the pandemic, TF’s Ethiopian partners pivoted to provide virtual counselling, speech therapy and support groups to families at different stages of their cleft care journies.

2020 Annual Report

In It Together

A Year of Innovations & Resilience

A Message from the Executive Director

Local partnerships have been deeply rooted within Transforming Faces’ ethos from the start. We have never depended on the international travel of health professionals to meet patient needs. In 2020 we gratefully (and insouciantly) entered our third decade of promoting Comprehensive Cleft Care - and it was the strength of this global network that sustained our vision through the disruption and challenges of the pandemic.

Hugh-Brewster-Executive-Director

Mission & Vision

Your Gifts at Work

A private charitable foundation covers all of TF’s non-program costs, allowing us to direct 100% of your donation to cleft care!

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Projects & Programs

100% of donations go toward our projects & programs.

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Administration

These costs are covered by a private charitable foundation.

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Fundraising

These costs are covered by a private charitable foundation.

Our Mission

We equip local teams to provide comprehensive cleft lip and palate care that is accessible for all. Together we are building happier, healthier lives for children and families in Africa, Asia, the Americas and beyond.

Our Vision

Our vision for children with cleft lip and palate is full inclusion into their community, so they can pursue their hopes and dreams.

Executive Director, Hugh Brewster, speaking with NWDF partner, Gift.

Join Us In Completing The Circle Of Cleft Care

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Extending Comprehensive Cleft Care World Wide

Our Local Partnerships With Cleft Teams

With your support, TF equips local cleft teams to provide support for long-term rehabilitation of children with cleft lip and palate. We are united by our shared vision of children experiencing full inclusion at home and at school and living a full life in their communities.

Our Local Partnerships With Cleft Teams

The Circle of Cleft Professionals (CoCP) is a growing global network of cleft professionals with an interest in promoting Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC) in resource-constrained contexts. In 2020, CoCP membership nearly tripled, representing over 400 cleft professionals in 60 countries across the globe. Transforming Faces is a founding sponsor of the CoCP, a movement that now links 10 international cleft NGOs.

Explore our work on the ground by clicking on the hot spots.

A Global Network

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Context for Cleft Care:

Africa

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Access

In Ethiopia and Uganda, cleft care services are concentrated in the major cities, resulting in very long travel distances for most families to access pre- and post-surgical care. In Ethiopia, Yekatit 12 is currently the only hospital in a country of over 100 million people that is providing a complete circle of cleft care.

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Stigma

Cleft can be perceived as a curse inflicted upon the family or upon the infant’s mother. As a result, families can feel responsible for causing their child’s condition and discouraged from seeking treatment. Counseling is crucial in equipping parents with accurate information about how to care for their newborn and how to pursue their child’s full inclusion in the community.

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Resources

Ethiopia and Uganda face a shortage of cleft care specialists, including trained cleft surgeons and speech therapists. Due to many competing public health issues, cleft care is not highly prioritized nationally. Many low-income families rely on charity-funded programs for treatment.

Where We Work:

Ethiopia

Patient Story:

Meet Sabira

Where We Work:

Uganda

Patient Story:

Meet Susan and Marvin

Context for Cleft Care:

Asia

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Access

Reaching underserved communities is a major focus for our local partners, particularly in Myanmar and India where over 60% of the population is rural. Long distances and lack of transportation infrastructure are major obstacles to access timely treatment.

Language barriers can also prevent access to information about comprehensive care. Our Thai partner, NWDF, is currently providing care across the borders of Myanmar and Laos, while in India there are 23 recognized official languages in addition to local dialects.

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Stigma

Cleft lip and palate is highly stigmatized from birth, particularly in rural areas where access to information about cleft care is limited. Many parents, mothers in particular, can feel shamed and ostracized within their communities. TF’s local partners in Asia prioritize community outreach and counselling to ensure that families have access to the information and support needed to combat this stigma and help their children journey towards full inclusion.

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Resources

In Northern Thailand and Myanmar, there is a shortage of trained cleft care specialists, particularly surgeons and speech therapists. In India, access to cleft surgery is widespread but only a small number of centres in major cities provide a complete Circle of Care.

Where We Work:

India

Patient Story:

Meet Satisfaction

Partner Story:

Experience Dr. Vivek’s first-hand account of his fellowship with TF’s local partner, ABMSS

Where We Work:

Thailand & Myanmar

Patient Story:

Meet Nattanon

Donating PPE

Bright Start Monthly Giving

Context for Cleft Care:

Latin America

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Access

Many of the families TF supports in Latin America live far from specialized hospitals and cleft clinics. The costs of transportation, accommodation and food can pose a significant barrier to a family accessing comprehensive care for their child.

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Stigma

Bullying due to a child’s appearance or unclear speech is common in the region, which can affect a child's self-esteem and performance in school. TF partners equip parents and teachers to support kids as full participants in family, school and community life.

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Resources

Cleft rehabilitation is not prioritized by public health systems. Even where a timely surgery may be available, other critical services such as speech therapy, dentistry or psychosocial support are limited or unavailable. Furthermore, families from remote indigenous communities in places like Peru may struggle to navigate systems in Spanish.

Where We Work:

Argentina

Patient Story:

Meet Guillermina & Jessica

Where We Work:

Costa Rica

Patient Story:

Meet Samantha

Where We Work:

Chile

Where We Work:

Peru

Patient Story:

Meet Gissel & Maribel

Returning to Eastern Europe

TF has a long history of supporting the vision of Comprehensive Cleft Care in Bulgaria, in partnership with Association ALA and the European Cleft Organization.

In 2020, TF is pleased to once again join the team of parents and cleft professionals at Association ALA to build a future where Bulgarian children born with cleft experience full inclusion.

Patient Story:

Meet Andrei

Listen to TF’s Podcast: Caring for Cleft

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Caring for Cleft Podcast Cover

2020 Financial Statements

Prossy Nakato (Before)
REVENUE & EXPENSES 2020 2019
Total Revenue
Grants, Donations & Other Income $1,597,798 $1,442,662
Total Expenses $1,638,381 $1,556,451
Cleft Care $953,857 $862,149
Partner Medical Training & Capacity Building $432,634 $412,696
Administration and Fundraising $251,890 $281,606
Excess of Revenue over Expenses $(40,643) ($113,789)
NET ASSETS 2019 2018
Balance, Beginning of Year $384,697 $498,486
Excess (Deficiency), Revenue over Expenses $(40,643) ($113,789)
Balance, End of Year $344,054 $384,697

Impact of Your Gift

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Average Cost per Patient in 2020*

*Costs vary annually based on the country, the patient and the treatment required.

The Cost of Covid

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On average, in 2020 TF Partners received $2,262* to cover the cost of personal protective equipment.

*A portion of TF projects received this support in 2020.

2020 Accomplishments

Here are a few highlights of what Transforming Faces’ supporters, families and partners made possible in 2020.

Children Supported

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Patients Treated in 2020
(30% increase from 2019)

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New Patients in 2020

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Average Age of Patients in 2020

Patients Treated

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42% GIRLS

58% BOYS

*Instances of cleft lip and palate occur more frequently in boys.

Cleft Treatments

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Treatments in 2020
(26% increase from 2019)

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Treatments Since 1999*

*A cleft treatment includes any element of rehabilitative care, such as counselling, speech therapy, surgery, orthodontics, dental care and nutritional support.

Thank You!

On behalf of the families and partners whom we serve, thank you for making life-changing, Comprehensive Cleft Care possible in 2020.

Prossy Nakato (Before)

TF’s Board of Directors are committed to upholding the highest standards of accountability, transparency and efficiency in all aspects of our work; you can read our Accountability Statement here. 

  • Board
    • Jackie Elton (Chair & Co-Founder)
    • Dr. Michel Grupper
    • Cindy Guernsey
    • Rev. Dr. Nan Hudson
    • Jill Martin
    • Elsa Tesfay
    • Dr. Ronald Zuker
  • Medical Advisory Committee
    • Dr. Tim Bressmann
    • Cindy Guernsey
    • Farah Sheikh
    • Dr. Bryan Tompson
    • Dr. Karen Wong
  • Engagement Committee
    • Christian Parsons
    • Sanjil Shah
    • Suzy Wilcox
  • Staff
    • Hugh Brewster (Executive Director)
    • Abdon Aguillon
    • Neeti Daftari
    • Melanie Meloche
    • Courtney Mollenhauer
    • Susana Munarriz
    • Rachel Winer

TF’s global projects are led by our intrepid local partner organizations:

  • Argentina: Asociación Simi Sumaq, Fundación Gavina, Hospital Andrés Isola, Hospital de Niños Humberto Notti
  • Chile: Fundación Gantz
  • Costa Rica: Asociación Pro Niño con Labio y/o Paladar Hendido (LPH)
  • Ethiopia: CURE Ethiopia Children’s Hospital, Operation Smile (Jimma University), Project Harar Ethiopia, Yekatit 12 Hospital
  • India: Akila Bharatha Mahila Seva Samaja (Rangadore Memorial Hospital, Shree Jain Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital), Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education & Research
  • Myanmar & Thailand: Northern Women’s Development Foundation (NWDF)
  • Peru: Instituto Nacional de Salud del Niño - Breña, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH)
  • Uganda: CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital

*NEW* Bulgaria: Association ALA

TF is proud to work in collaboration with:

  • Akila Bharatha Mahila Seva Samaja (ABMSS)
  • Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe (DCKH)
  • Face Equality International
  • The Dr. Martin Andreas Trust
  • The Circle of Cleft Professionals (CoCP) and World Cleft Coalition (WCC)
  • Operation Smile
  • Project Harar UK
  • Smile Train
  • Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC)

We are grateful to those whose images appear in this report. All photos courtesy of TF Staff, Volunteers and Partners.

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Toronto, Ontario M6G 1B5
(416) 222-6581
info@transformingfaces.org

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