Miss Universe Candidates

Visited Smile Train’s Local Programs in the Philippines and Saw Firsthand How Cleft Surgery Changes Lives

Miss universe candidates with former cleft patients

Titleholders Hosted an Empowerment Workshop with Cleft Patients and Visited One of the Organization’s Partner Hospitals

MANILA – January 23, 2017 – Over the weekend, Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, invited a group of this year’s Miss Universe candidates to participate in an empowerment workshop with some very special former cleft patients. Titleholders also visited one of Smile Train’s local partner hospitals, Our Lady of Peace Hospital.

During the empowerment workshop, the titleholders were able to speak with Smile Train’s cleft patients about some the changes in their lives since receiving free cleft surgery sponsored by the organization, challenges they’ve overcome and their dreams and ambitions. The titleholders were there to support the patients and provide advice and words of encouragement about working toward their goals and never giving up.

While at the hospital, the titleholders were given the opportunity to learn more about the organization’s sustainable model and interact with cleft patients, parents, social workers and medical professionals who are on the ground helping children in the local community 365 days a year. Following the hospital visit and empowerment workshop, Smile Train hosted a private Q&A panel discussion led by television host, Lexi Schulze, and some of the Miss Universe candidates at the Manila Hotel. The titleholders had the opportunity to reflect and discuss the days’ worth of activities.

“Smile Train is honored to be working with The Miss Universe organization to help raise awareness and bring more smiles to children with clefts,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director, Smile Train Philippines. “Since the beginning of the partnership in December 2015, there has been great support and involvement from the organization’s international titleholders.”

For more information about Smile Train's global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org. Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrain and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/SmileTrain.

Miss universe candidate with former cleft patientsMiss universe candidate with former cleft patient



About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children's charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.

About Miss Universe Organization
he Miss Universe Organization (MUO) uses its global grassroots reach to empower women to be self-confident and strive to be their personal best. MUO believes that every woman should be “Confidently Beautiful.” The MISS UNIVERSE®, MISS USA®, and MISS TEEN USA® pageants provide an international platform through dedicated partnerships with charities, sponsors, and brands around the world. During their reign, the titleholders are given the tools to personally and professionally enrich others by providing humanitarian efforts to affect positive change, all while developing their personal career goals. For more information, and to learn more about Miss Universe’s official cause to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS education and prevention around the world, please visit: www.missuniverse.com.

For more information about the partnership, please contact:

Smile Train Philippines
Kimmy Flaviano, Country Director
[email protected]

Smile Train Global
Nijha Diggs, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

The Miss Universe Organization
Jackie Shahinian, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]