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 sales helping others

Antonia is now a volunteer and is helping others with cleft conditions


It takes only 45 minutes and as little as €180 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 cleft surgery

Antonia after cleft surgery