August 29, 2019, Quezon City, Philippines — During her recent visit to Manila, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray had the opportunity to visit Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines to bring awareness for children with clefts. For the first time, she witnessed first-hand a life-changing cleft surgery at Smile Train’s local partner hospital, Philippine Band of Mercy.
“I felt this was something I had to do to be able to effectively advocate for a cause I truly believe in. I’ve always believed that children deserve every chance in the world to achieve their goals and through these surgeries, they are given the opportunity to become more confident and live their lives to the fullest,” said Gray.
Before the surgery, Gray also went around the hospital to talk to and hear inspiring stories from patients and their parents. “I’m grateful to be able to spend time with these children. Working with Smile Train and using my platform to help raise awareness about the organization and children with clefts is truly fulfilling. The support they provide for children with clefts around the world can be life-changing for many of their patients – these surgeries could mean jobs that may reshape their future, or courage to stand out and perform well in school or in the workplace.”
“Smile Train is grateful for the unwavering support given by The Miss Universe Organization. The impact they have globally and one of our ambassadors Catriona Gray’s genuine compassion towards our patients are vital to further our cause,” says Smile Train South East Asia Area Director, Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano. “Every three minutes, there is a child born with a cleft somewhere in the world. It is our goal to be able to help them and because of the support from our partners like The Miss Universe Organization, we are able to do so.”
For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.