Smile Foundation - because every child deserves to smile.

Sasfin and Smile Foundation have partnered together for more than 15 years to change the lives of children with burns and facial deformities.

Terri Katz

Marketing and CSR Manager,
Sasfin
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Who are the Smile Foundation?

The Smile Foundation helps children with any type of facial abnormality, by ensuring that they receive corrective plastic and reconstructive surgery. These include those children who suffer from treatable facial deformities such as cleft lip and palate, burn victims, Moebius syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions. Not only do they help children with life-changing surgery, but they also provide support and counselling to their families. The Smile Foundation also assists with the training of nursing staff in academic hospitals and has sent doctors overseas to be trained on specialist procedures.

How we work with them

We’re proud to have been partners with the Smile foundation for nearly 15 years aiding to make a meaningful impact for these children's lives. Aside from our annual donations, we’re the headline sponsor of the Sasfin Cyclethon – an annual Cyclethon at Melrose Arch. The objective of the event is to raise additional funds for Smile, as well as raise awareness for what they do. At this event we have over 300 cyclists and celebrities taking part, including Harry Sideropois, Natalie du Toit, former Miss South Africa Kireshnee Naiker and more.

Elisheva Gilbert (left) and Erol Zeki (right) at the Sasfin Cyclethon 2019 at Melrose Arch.
Natalie du Toit at the Sasfin Cyclethon 2019 at Melrose Arch.

How we’ve made a difference

In May 2020 Sunlyn (Sasfin’s asset finance division), donated additional funds on top of our annual contribution. These funds were used for much needed PPE throughout the academic universities in South Africa. Sasfin, together with Smile Foundation, also hosted our very first virtual Cyclethon on 26 April 2020 where we raised over R100 000 that was also used for PPE. We all enjoyed getting some exercise as we cycled, smiled and battled this pandemic – together. In September 2019 we were fortunate to be part of a life-changing facial reanimation for 10-year-old Sibusiso at Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Sibusiso was born with Moebius Syndrome, a complex congenital neurological disorder that affects multiple cranial nerves, causing paralysis of the muscles that bring about all facial movements.

Hospitals receive boxes of disposable scrubs and other PPE.
Linda Frohlich embraces a burn victim after her surgery at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.

Read more about Sibusiso's life changing surgery here

“We’re immensely grateful to the incredibly dedicated doctors and staff at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, as well as to Sasfin, for making this life-changing operation possible. Our partnerships with organisations such as these are able to impact children's lives dramatically through the gift of a smile. Smile Foundation is incredibly excited to be playing an integral role in restoring hope and dignity in Sibusiso’s life.” Hedley Lewis, CEO of the Smile Foundation

We look forward to continuing to make a difference in these children and their family's lives. We are proud to be associated with an organisation that continuously contributes to the sustainability of healthcare in our country.

About the Author

Terri Katz
Marketing and CSR Manager, Sasfin