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Thursday, 09 November 2006

Miles for Smiles

The Cipla Medpro Miles for Smiles Foundation, established in August 2006, aims to give every South African child the gift of a smile.

Each year, the Cipla Medpro Miles for Smiles Foundation will combine a series of events that will involve local participation as well as issuing a challenge to South Africans to conquer the ultimate endurance test. "We want to make this initiative fun, interactive, and relevant, while raising funds for deserving children," explains Cipla Medpro's national marketing manager, Dr Gavin Jones.

David Grier & Braam MalherbeThis year, 2006, The Cipla Medpro Miles for Smiles Challenge has tasked chef David Grier and ecologist Braam Malherbe, to run, crawl or climb 45 km per day, six days a week over the next five months to complete the estimated 5 000km journey and be the first to accurately record the length of the Great Wall of China. In doing so, Miles for Smiles is aiming to raise R50,000 for every 100km completed.

The goal of R2.5 million, will this year, go towards supporting 'Operation Smile South Africa' whose mission is to provide children from disadvantaged communities born with cleft palates and hair lips, the gift of a smile for the very first time, through volunteer surgery by international and South African medical professionals.

The Cipla Medpro Miles for Smiles Challenge aims to become one of South Africa's largest annual fund raising initiatives providing the means for children to smile as well as add value to their lives by showing them that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself.

The goal

The challenge: Travel the entire length of the Great Wall of China on foot and in one attempt - A WORLD FIRST.

This first Cipla Medpro Miles for Smiles Challenge is going to be a difficult one to beat. Not only will covering the estimated 5 000km of the wall be a world first, but David and Braam have been tasked to accurately measure the wall for the first time.

The monies raised, via our SMS donation line - send "smile" to 36774 (R5/sms), our website with its "buy a brick" pledge wall, and our in-store Betavit vitamin promotion, will be used to fund Operation Smile's first mission to South Africa.

Operation Smile is an international non-profit organisation that provides surgical correction of facial deformities & disfiguration in children. One out of every 500 children suffers from a facial deformity. Many of these children have difficulty eating, suffer ear disease, as well as dental and speech problems. Children born with facial deformities, especially in poorer areas, are often sentenced to a life of shame, disfigurement, public humiliation and private pain. Since 1982 Operation Smile has provided life-changing surgery for over 100 000 children world-wide.

During Operation Smile's first mission to KwaZulu Natal, local and international doctors and nurses will be working together to repair facial disfigurements - such as cleft palates and lips - for approximately 65 children. The cost of the surgery and post-operative care amounts to approximately R5 000 per child.

To follow David and Braam's progress visit the Miles for Smiles website, and click here for more information on Operation Smile.

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