Photo: Claire Louise Thomas

Cape Town – The Smile Foundation has urged South Africans to make a small donation towards a competition it is hosting to raise sorely needed funds for children in need of facial reconstructive surgery.

A non-profit organisation (NPO) helping to pay the surgical costs of needy children with facial abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate, the Smile Foundation is running a fund-raising raffle in which people can win a 2019 KIA Picanto 1.0 worth R155 000 as the first prize.

All you need to do to win the car - or a second prize of a Glenlivet whisky hamper, or a third prize of a Kindle Oasis - is buy a R50 raffle ticket.

Smile collaborates with academic hospitals nationwide to facilitate life-changing operations for children from as young as a few months old to young adulthood, helping them and their families on what is sometimes a very difficult journey, according to its chief executive Hedley Lewis.

“This latest fund-raiser will be used specifically to assist Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town with its paediatric surgical backlog. The hospital services a massive catchment area - from the desert in the north (of Africa) to the sea in the south, with some families travelling for days to bring their children to the hospital for the surgery they so desperately need.

“The Smile Foundation assists by covering both the theatre slate, as well as logistical costs in getting the children and their guardians to the hospital for their operations.

“Without this vital support, these children would have to wait for their surgeries, often missing the window for timeous surgical intervention, as their cases get delayed to make room for emergency procedures,” said Lewis.

Smile Foundation co-founder and executive chairperson Marc Lubner said: “The foundation was founded at the request of Nelson Mandela, who believed in the power of community in coming together to help others. That is the idea behind this fund-raiser; it is true ubuntu in action.

“As South Africans, an act of responsible kindness will certainly change the outcome of the lives of children living with facial abnormalities.

“Your R50 changes not just one life, but the lives of families and future generations to come. It shows that we South Africans care.”

Tickets can be purchased by visiting

Cape Times