Rotary District 5300 Cleft Lip/Palate Project
Saving Smiles….Changing Lives
Purpose: To provide free reconstructive surgery and ancillary treatments for cleft lips, palates, burn scaring and other deformities.
Where: In developing countries throughout the world.
Who: Volunteer medical professionals and District 5300 Rotarian non-medical volunteers.
- Rotaplast was started by Rotarians and the Rotary Club of San Francisco.
- It has been in existence for 27 years.
- It traditionally carries out 12 two week missions a year and has worked in 26 developing counties.
- It relies on local Rotarians as support and outreach for patients in surrounding communities.
- It recruits a highly skilled volunteer medical staff, and most missions utilize Rotarians as non-medical support.
- It is a 501(c)3 non-profit, humanitarian organization and has received a 4 Star Rating from Charity Navigator (the highest and the same as TRF.) It operates with very low overhead and does no advertising.
- 2011: Retalhuleu, Guatemala
- 2013: Monrovia, Liberia
- 2015: Retalhuleu, Guatemala
- 2017: Lima, Peru
- 2019: Arusha, Tanzania
- 2020: Agra, India
Through these surgical missions District 5300 has impacted the lives of many families:
- 415 Patients Treated
- 504 Procedures Carried Out
Volunteers: The district reaches out to clubs for non-medical volunteer applicants. These volunteers should be active Rotarians from the district, available for the full two week mission, travel with the team out of San Francisco, and be comfortable traveling/working in a developing country. They are responsible for their travel costs and miscellaneous minor expenses.
For our six past missions the District has provided 35 non-medical volunteers in various roles.
- Mission Director
- Recovery Room Helper
- Assistant Mission Director
- Recreation Therapist
- Medical Records Keeper
- Ward Coordinator
- Equipment Sterilizer
- Mission Historian
- Patient Transport
Because of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas, our Cleft Lip/Palate Program has been the fortunate beneficiary of two gifts from the Welles Family Foundation. One is the biannual income from a 7% ownership of a trailer park in Nevada, and the other was a onetime gift of just over $98,000. The District Committee decided that these funds will be used as necessary to help support future missions and not be used to fully fund a single mission. Mission costs range from approximately $85,000 to $150,000 depending on their location and the size of the team.
District Rotaplast Committee and Governor Greg Jones had decided to co-sponsor a seventh Rotaplast mission. We were planning to be part of a team on March 21 – April 4, 2021, to Chitwan, Nepal, where there is a significant need related to cleft lip and palate surgeries and burn scars surgical reconstructions.
However due to the COVID-19 world-wide pandemic, all upcoming Rotaplast surgical missions have been cancelled. We will no longer be accepting non-medical applications for this or any future mission. Once Rotaplast develops a new schedule of missions, the District Rotaplast Committee will enter into an agreement with Rotaplast related to co-sponsoring one. At that time we will inform clubs and District Rotarians of the mission selected and how to apply for non-medical volunteer positions and contribute to the mission.
If clubs have budgeted funds for this mission to Nepal, they may elect to remit to the District Office a check made out to “Rotary District 5300 Foundation” with the words “Cleft Lip Program” written on the memo line. It will be placed into a restrictive account with the District 5300 Foundation and used toward the next District-sponsored mission.
The District 5300 Cleft Lip/Palate Committee is composed of the following individuals:
QUESTIONS and ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Club Presentations: We can arrange for one of our non-medical volunteers from a past mission to give a club presentation about their life-changing experience serving on a Rotaplast mission. Contact one of the committee members.
Rotaplast Website: Photo blogs of past missions, job descriptions for non-medical volunteers, and extensive general information is available on Rotaplast’s website: https://rotaplast.org/