Mobile services provider, Vodacom, donated half a million Rand to the Smile Foundation and the Smile Week programme which is currently underway at the Universitas Academic Hospital (UAH) in Bloemfontein.
According to the Head of the Vodacom Foundation, Mthobeli Tengimfene, the role of Vodacom was not only to act as a sponsor to the parents and children affected in terms of covering transport, accommodation, and medical supply costs but also to facilitate the partnership between the foundation and the hospital.
He adds that as a bonus, Vodacom brought its staff and donated toys along to play with the children in the hospital and provide momentary relief to the parents while also ensuring that the children remain relaxed and happy prior to their operations.
Deputy Director General for the province’s National Health Insurance and Primary Health Care Services, Basie Polelo, says the donation is one that came in very handy as it benefits the lives of those parents and children affected in a life changing way. He further added that programmes such as these “highlight the plight of the children and also improve the quality of their lives in a way that people cannot imagine, as, after their operations, they are able to eat better and look like other children. This boosts their self-confidence and helps them overcome the stigma from communities related to their conditions. “
Over eleven children will be operated on this week, with many of them having cleft lips and cleft palates. Smile Week started at UAH on Monday and it will end on Friday 10 February 2016.