Rubana was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. Her home village of Kannagi Nagar is 250km from Chennai, India where TF’s partner project at Sri Ramachandra University  (SRU) is located. When Rubana was born, her mother Ariappa admits feeling very distressed and crying a lot. She wasn’t aware that affordable cleft care was available until she was directed to SRU’s mobile camps.

Through SRU and their mobile camps, which offer decentralized access to cleft care services, Rubana underwent three cleft repair surgeries and began receiving ongoing speech therapy close to home.

Today, Rubana is in the 7th grade and enjoys studying Tamil. Both Rubana and her mother are very happy with her progress and the quality of care she has received. Rubana notes that “before treatment, when I [spoke] nobody understood me but now I can speak clearly. I still have problems with ‘s’ sounds [but] I am trying hard to achieve that.”

In the future, Rubana hopes to give back to her community by becoming a police officer.