Rotarians Uniting For Change

You might know your local Rotary Club for their community leadership, humanitarian service or just their warm and welcoming attitude. With clubs in over 200 countries, this global network of leaders volunteer their time and talents to drive positive change around the world. Recently, a group of Rotarians from across Ontario have joined forces to help TF transform lives of children born with cleft lip and palate – and we could not be more excited to have their support!

The Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise, Toronto Earlscourt Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of East York and the Rotary Club of Alliston (partnering with the Peruvian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce) are coming together to ensure that cleft care services are available to children and families in Ethiopia. Together, we are tackling the shortage of cleft services in the country, and ensuring that patients will have access to long-term support.

Delivering Comprehensive Care in Ethiopia

Cleft lip and palate Ethiopia

Thanks to the Ontario Rotary Clubs, children like Hayat will have access to comprehensive care for years to come.

Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth anomalies in the world, affecting approximately one in 700 children. And yet, in countries like Ethiopia, cleft services are often limited or non-existent. In fact, TF’s Ethiopian partner, Yekatit 12 Hospital, is currently the only comprehensive cleft care centre in the entire country of over 100 million people.

So the Rotary Clubs are leaping into action!

With support from a District Grant, these fantastic four Ontario Rotary Clubs are committed to changing the outcomes for cleft patients in the country. They have pledged $25,500.00 to ensure comprehensive care is accessible to children and families who need it most. This means children born with cleft lip and palate will have access to the essentials – including safe surgeries, orthodontic care, and travel support for families coming from remote communities to access care.

Supporting Local Professionals

“I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise and other Ontario Clubs for supporting this life-changing care,” says Dr. Mekonen Eshete, Head of Yekatit 12’s Cleft Lip and Palate Program.

He notes that without this essential support, his patients would be “unable to speak, unable to smile and unable to hear.” Together, this collaboration will ensure that children born with cleft are supported every step of the way.

“The contribution of Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise and other Ontario Clubs obtained will contribute immensely to the continuing holistic cleft [care] at our unit.”

Yekatit 12 Hospital Ethiopia

– Yekatit 12’s Dr. Mekonen (centre), with his team’s speech professionals Bezuwork and Hirut.