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Vodacom Group

Vodacom and Smile Foundation celebrate a legacy of smiles in children's lives

Thursday, 6 June 2024

JOHANNESBURG – Since 2007, Vodacom Foundation has proudly partnered with the Smile Foundation to support Smile Week, an initiative that provides life-changing reconstructive surgery to children with treatable facial anomalies. Smile Week not only addresses the physical challenges faced by these young people but also alleviates the emotional distress associated with feeling different, enabling them to embrace their lives to the fullest.

"As we mark Vodacom's 30th anniversary this year, it's a good time to reflect on the dramatic change in the countries in which we operate, in terms of bringing connectivity to people. What we are also particularly proud of is how we have brought purpose to society and how we have made a meaningful difference in people's lives," says Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

Orofacial cleft lip/palate (CLP) remains in the top five of South Africa's most common congenital disorders. Smile Week sees surgeons, their surgical teams, and other medical professionals around the country dedicate their time and expertise to perform reconstructive surgery on children whose families would not otherwise have been able to afford it.

"Families invariably find their way to state hospital facilities, where there are very capable and competent surgeons and medical professionals, but budget constraints have often meant elective surgery has to wait before more critical cases are addressed," says Marc Lubner, founder and executive chairman of the Smile Foundation.

To date, the partnership between Vodacom and the Smile Foundation has benefited 600 children, with the shared goal of enhancing their overall quality of life and well-being.

"I want to thank all the medical professionals for being partners with us since 2007, and for giving their time and commitment to make this a reality. Vodacom's support of Smile Week reaffirms our commitment as a company to use our capabilities collaboratively for a brighter, more inclusive future," says Joosub.

In this video, parents and Smile Week recipients share their experiences and the importance of this initiative in transforming lives.

Click here to access the high-impact video:

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Vodacom and Smile Foundation celebrate a legacy of smiles in children's lives | Vodacom Group