The original concept was an actual train that would travel around developing countries, providing free surgery for poor children and free training for doctors, leaving behind well-trained doctors, free equipment and self-sufficient communities.
Logistical issues made a physical train impossible but the original idea was so strong it didn’t need it.
Smile Train was founded in 1999 and began with one surgery in China performed by a local medical team. In nine years it has grown into the largest cleft organization in the world with hundreds of partners and programs in 80+ countries.
Since March 2000 we have provided free cleft surgery for over 875,000 children worldwide... and over 325,000 in India.