Children on the Edge has enabled two internally displaced Kachin children to receive much needed cleft palate surgeries. The camps where the children live are completely cut off from the most basic services, so procedures of this kind are not available.
Children on the Edge supports 14 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres throughout 12 Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps in the remote mountains of Kachin State, Burma. Where possible we also provide winter provisions for the children. We collaborated with Kachin Development Group (KDG) who we partner with to deliver the Centres, and Smile Train who provide cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in over 85 developing countries.
14 month old Le Thu Win was born in the IDP camp at Pajau. Her family have had to take shelter there since 2011, due to armed conflict between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese military. Le Thu Win is the third daughter of the family. Her eldest sister passed away soon after being born and now her elder sister is three years old and attending on of the ECD Centres we support.
Sadly when Le Thu Win was born, her father was not happy. With two elder girls, he was hoping for a boy, and after this point abandoned the family frequently, choosing to spend time with friends. She was born with a cleft palate which concerned her mother, especially as it created difficulty with breast feeding.
Le Thu Win and another young boy called Wai Myo Lin from a neighbouring camp were supported to take a 16 day round trip to Mandalar Hospital. Here, Smile Train provided treatment which went ahead smoothly and without complications. Longer term the surgery has proved very successful and since this point, both of them have been living happily with their families.
Bawk Hkun from the Kachin Development Group says “This is new experience for KDG. We consider this as a collaborative initiative between Children on the Edge, Smile Train and ourselves which proves as an example that the things we previously saw as impossible can be solved with collaboration and networking among agencies”.