Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, together with Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation (GSF) hosted a screening of Wonder at Powerplant Cinemas in Rockwell, Makati on October 3 to celebrate individuals with birth differences and inspire others to create smiles. This is in celebration of World Smile Day®, a day dedicated to smiles and acts of kindness around the world.
Wonder, starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, is based on a New York Times bestseller which tells the story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who starts fifth grade in a mainstream elementary school for the first time. This incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story perfectly encapsulates the message of love, kindness, and acceptance both Smile Train and Gabriel Symphony Foundation want to share with the public.
“My son Gabriel had a cleft lip and palate. But he was never well enough to have surgery and passed away before he turned 1, 17 years ago. Through our Foundation and Smile Train, we celebrate his life by providing surgery for other children so they can live a fuller life without the difficulty and trauma of living with a cleft lip and palate,” said Cong. Pia Cayetano, founder of Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation.
Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation was established in memory of Gabriel Rene Cayetano Sebastian, the late son of Deputy House Speaker, Pia S. Cayetano. The foundation has devoted its time and resources in carrying out its advocacies and projects which include cleft surgery as well as programs and medical assistance for the visually and hearing impaired. For eight years now, GSF has partnered with Smile Train to empower local medical professionals in the Philippines to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children around the country.
“We took this opportunity to celebrate World Smile Day® and inspire the audience to create smiles in many different ways,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train’s Area Director for Southeast Asia. “We hope that by raising awareness about clefts and other birth differences and showing the challenges that these individuals face every day, we are able to encourage others to spread positivity and kindness.”
For more information about Smile Train’s programs in the Philippines as well as the organization’s global efforts, and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org. Follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.