More of the right smiles: KIA reiterates its support to Smile Foundation
- KIA Motors South Africa strengthens its support of Smile Foundation with cash donation
- All funds to benefit children in need of surgery for treatable facial anomalies
(JOHANNESBURG) 31 May 2019 – KIA Motors South Africa handed over a donation of R100,000 to Smile Foundation, the well known South African organisation that helps children in need of surgery for treatable facial anomalies.
“Smile Foundation is privileged that KIA Motors has supported us with a generous donation as part of our multidisciplinary support to Academic Hospitals and paediatric patients,” says Hedley Lewis, CEO of Smile Foundation. “One of our key areas is psychological support, hence this funding will be utilised to increase the counselling opportunities and debriefing and by the current psychological team within the Gauteng Region. This donation will positively change lives and uplift families.”
Smile Foundation was established in 2000 as The Smile Fund after a personal request from former president Nelson Mandela to Marc Lubner, asking for assistance in securing surgery for Thando Manyati. Thando’s mother, Thabile Malambo Manyathi, relentlessly wrote Madiba – every month – appealing for assistance to help her child go overseas to have a highly specialised procedure, known as Facial Reanimation surgery, which would correct the facial nerve paralysis, known as Moebius Syndrome, that Thando was born with.
One child, one letter and one phone call was all it took to set the wheels in motion, and today, more than 3,000 childrens’ lives have been changed through the tireless work of Smile Foundation. Today, the organisation has a comprehensive healthcare vision for children living with facial conditions, and together with eleven of South Africa’s academic hospitals, they work to put the smile back onto children’s faces through corrective facial reconstructive surgery and treatments in order to treat anomalies such as cleft lip, cleft palate, nose and ear conditions, burn wounds, craniofacial abnormalities and – where it started – facial paralysis (Moebius Syndrome), as well as various other support services.
“To describe the lifechanging work Smile Foundation does in a mere sentence or two would be an absolute disservice to the organisation, its small, passionate staff complement, and the countless healthcare professionals across South Africa who, as a collective, remains committed to putting the smile back on the faces of South Africa’s children,” says David Sieff, Marketing Director, KIA Motors South Africa. “This donation is one of many we have made to the organisation over the years, and it is an honour for KIA to reiterate its support to Smile Foundation. We truly believe that in this small way, we can assist in making joy visible through the smiles of our nation’s children.”