Antonia was born to a farming family in a remote village in Brazil. Her family loved her dearly and protected her as much as they could, but she had to endure daily bullying because of her cleft lip. Leaving her in tears and feeling alone.

Antonia’s family was aware medical help existed, but they weren’t sure how they could possibly afford the surgery. Then, when Antonia was 8, her aunt learned about Operation Smile’s free surgeries. Together with her father and aunt, Antonia travelled for three hours to reach our medical mission. Thanks to the support of caring people like you, she underwent surgery to repair her lip.

From that day forward, the teasing and bullying stopped and Antonia could finally live the fulfilling life that she deserved. She is now happily married and hopes to help others the way she was helped. Antonia often volunteers at Operation Smile medical missions, inspiring and comforting children before their own surgeries.

Antonia today, helping others


It takes only 45 minutes and as little as £150 to give a new smile to a child, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children like Antonia around the world.

Antonia after surgery

Antonia after surgery



At Operation Smile, we envision a future where health and dignity are improved through safe surgery.

Safe surgery means providing patients with the highest quality of care, based on the highest medical standards, no matter where they live. 

Cleft is the third most common birth defect worldwide. In as little as 45 minutes, free safe surgery can give a child a chance to live a normal life 

A child born with a  cleft may suffer from: – Hunger and thirst – Difficulty with speech – Social isolation and bullying 


With 35 years of expertise, we continue to provide life-saving reconstructive cleft surgeries and increase our overall surgical safety, quality and capacity worldwide.


See how our generous medical volunteers are changing lives around the globe

Bringing hope to Sidonie

When Sidonie was born, her parents were shocked to see her mouth. They didn’t know how they could afford the surgery that could change their daughter’s life. Until they learnt that Operation Smile was organising a medical mission in their country.

More than smiles

In Ethiopia, Operation Smile is helping to strengthen the country’s health system through specialised training and education programmes while continuing to provide patients with world-class levels of surgical care. UK plastic surgeon Per Hall is leading the project.

It takes only 45 minutes and as little as £150 to give a new smile to a child.


If you want to learn more, you can get in touch with our Supporter Care team by phone on: +44 (0)20 3475 5126 or by email at: