JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Kia Motors SA had donated R100 000 the South African organisation Smile Foundation which helps children in need of surgery for facial anomalies.
The foundation’s CEO, Hedley Lewis, told The Corner through a media release: “Kia has supported us with a generous donation as part of our multi-disciplinary support to academic hospitals and young patients.
“Key is psychological support… the money will be used to increase counselling and debriefing and by the Gauteng psychological team. It will positively change lives and uplift families.”
Smile was established in 2000 as The Smile Fund after a personal request from former president Nelson Mandela to Marc Lubner, asking for help to secure surgery for Thando Manyati whose mother Thabile wrote to Madiba every month appealing for help for her child go overseas for surgery to correct the facial nerve paralysis (Moebius Syndrome) with which she was born.
One child, one letter, one phone call, was all that was needed to set the wheels in motion and today (May 2019) the lives of more than 3000 children have been changed.
SURGERY AND TREATMENT
Now the organisation has a comprehensive health-care vision for children living with facial conditions. Working with 11 South African academic hospitals, it puts a smile back on children’s faces through facial reconstruction surgery and treatment.
David Sieff, Kia Motors marketing director, said: “To describe the foundation’s life-changing work in a sentence: its small but passionate staff and health-care professionals across South Africa remain committed to putting the smile back on the faces of South Africa’s children.”