MANILA, Philippines — Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, launched the #KayGandaNgBawatNgiti campaign in the Philippines as they invited Filipinos to celebrate World Smile Day® on October 1st. Held annually on the first Friday of October, World Smile Day®, is a day dedicated to inspiring everyone to do acts of kindness around the world.
In line with Smile Train’s global message, “All Smiles are Beautiful”, Smile Train Philippines localized the campaign with #KayGandaNgBawatNgiti which aims to raise awareness for cleft-affected individuals, capturing the beauty of all kinds of smiles and mitigate discrimination towards those born with a cleft or other birth differences.
“Smile Train strives to give individuals born with a cleft their forever smiles and brighter futures. With the help of all our partner hospitals and medical professionals, we can truly make a difference to create more smiles and second chances at life,” said Vice President, Smile Train South East Asia, Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano.
Art for Smiles
In celebration of this year’s World Smile Day®, Ica Narvaez, a local artist, partnered with Smile Train Philippines to raise funds for cleft-affected individuals in need of lifesaving surgery and care through an online auction of her work. As a long-time supporter of Smile Train, Ica created artworks inspired by Smile Train beneficiaries and their families.
“I worked briefly with the organization before and witnessed firsthand how their organization makes a difference in the lives of children. I have personally met beneficiaries of their program and saw the impact of a cleft lip and palate surgery,” shared Narvaez. “I wanted to do this auction to help children receive the desperate care they need. ” One of the pieces, “Flowers for Smiles”, is an abstract painting in acrylic. Each artwork’s bid begins at PhP13,000.
Coming from a family of artists, Ica grew up surrounded by different forms of creativity. However, during the pandemic, Ica realized she can combine her passion for art and community development to make a difference. Ica now aims to create inspirational work and art that calls for community action. “If people purchase my work for Smile Train, the result will be countless smiles for these children,” she shared.
Ica’s online auction for World Smile Day® will run throughout the month of October. To view available artworks up for bidding, please visit: icanarvaez.com/events. To see more of Ica’s past work and available pieces, please visit drybrush.com/artworks/ica-g-narvaez and icanarvaez.com. To place a bid, Ica may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#KayGandaNgBawatNgiti Facebook Live Discussion
As Smile Train works toward helping individuals born with a cleft smile confidently, it is no secret that many cleft-affected individuals still experience discrimination for their appearance. In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month which also coincides this October, Smile Train is taking the opportunity to bring this issue to light by hosting a Facebook Live discussion on bullying, mental health and well-being medical experts and beneficiaries, happening on October 29 at 4:00PM on Smile Train Philippine’s Facebook page.
The virtual discussion will revolve around understanding how victims of bullying react and cope with the effects, and how Smile Train plays a role in promoting acceptance among all children. The discussion will be hosted by Menchie Silvestre, Executive Director of Alagang Kapatid Foundation, with speakers and guests: Dr. Edmund Mercado, Plastic Surgeon from Marikina St. Vincent Hospital; Dr. Arsenio “Boboy” Alianan, Professor from the Department of Psychology, Ateneo De Manila University; Joana Mariz Julian, who was born with a cleft; and a mother of a cleft patient, Maricel Teylan.
To celebrate smiles, to know more about Smile Train’s global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines and to refer a patient in need, please visit smiletrain.ph/get-help. Follow Smile Train Philippines on Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.