Clefts are a major problem in developing countries, where millions of children suffer from unoperated clefts. Most of them cannot eat or speak properly and live in shame and isolation.


The mission of the Cleft Surgery Organisation is to offer these children a chance to have a normal life by performing cleft operations free of charge.

The Cleft Surgery Organisation is an initiative of Dr Bart van de Ven. He and his volunteering colleagues organise missions to developing countries in order to perform and teach operations on behalf of these children. The all inclusive cost of one surgery is around €150,-.

We try to share our knowledge with local medical officers and surgeons. Yvonne and Henk Geerlings, who take care of the anesthesia, have given lots of equipment and training on how to use it to the local staff.
Dr Bart van de Ven, dr Joel Defrancq and dr Ellen Defrancq have published a book called cleft lip surgery, a practical guide in 2008 which can be downloaded for free in PDF from this website. It explains in simple words together with lots of pictures, drawings and some video’s how a cleft lip surgery can be performed.