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During Smile Week on 29-31 October, the Smile Foundation and Vodacom, in partnership with the Western Cape Government Health Department, facilitated life-changing plastic reconstructive surgery for 10 children at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH). All the children, aged between six months and 13 years, are burn victims. The surgery provides these children with the opportunity to lead normal lives and live their lives to the fullest.
This is the 10th time the Vodacom Foundation has partnered with the Smile Foundation on Smile Week, a cause that Vodacom as an organisation feels passionately about. Since 2007, Vodacom has donated over R19.2m, enabling 570 children to have life-altering surgery.
This Smile Week was particularly exciting as some of the surgeries performed were groundbreaking. Little Clayton Luciano, a victim of a house fire who lost fingers on both hands, underwent a pioneering eight-hour procedure where he was given a left thumb by transferring his right second toe. This was only the second paediatric toe-thumb surgery to take place in SA.
Although there are many children in need of corrective surgery, the government does not always have the capacity to provide it. The partnership between Smile Foundation, Vodacom and the Red Cross is a model that has worked extremely well. Vodacom has undertaken to continue to support Smile Foundation in helping to put the smile back on children's faces with free corrective reconstructive surgery and treatments, as part of their commitment to social transformation.
Find out more about the work of the Vodacom Foundation here.