One out of every thousand babies are born with a cleft or an opening in their lip or palate, a facial deformity that can result in difficulty with eating, speech problems, hearing problems and social alienation. At AISC, students got together at the ULead Conference held on the 8th of December 2019 to provide aid for children born with this deformity.
The ULead Conference is a student-led program hosted by AISC to foster leadership skills and spread awareness for Operation Smile, a nongovernmental nonprofit medical service organization that specialises in providing cleft lip and palate surgeries to children worldwide. At the conference, students attended speeches by leading surgeon *name* and Ms. Apsara, where they learnt about the reasons for the formation of clefts, problems associated with the deformity, treatment and possible areas of social work for students. In breakout sessions, they designed T-Shirts and Smile Bags for children undergoing the surgery required for treatment.
The conference was an interactive one, with students taking the forefront in guiding, regualting and actively participating in the conference. Ideas, proposals and suggestions for social work were discussed and the speakers were sure to advise students on how they could move forward. Students came back from the conference with a clear understanding of what it would mean to be afflicted by the cleft lip and palate, a deeper sensitivity for the children who were afflicted, and a determination to help spread one more ‘smile’.