After 14 Years of Wandering, Tanzila Finds Her Smile

No one is too remote for Smile Train

“After she was born with her cleft lip, we had no idea what to do with her,” said Abdus Sukkur about his daughter, Tanzila.

As she grew, Tanzila didn’t understand either. She asked her father why her lip looked the way it did while still a toddler, and he could only offer her sad apologies. Then it was time to pick up and go.

Abdus, Tanzila, and their family belong to the Bede People, a nomadic tribe in Bangladesh famous for their transience as much as for their snake charming prowess and herbal remedies.

But, in all their travels, they never found a remedy for Tanzila’s cleft. Until, after 14 years of wandering, Abdus discovered Delta Health, a Smile Train partner in Chittagong, the nearest city. He called them right away.

The next day, they sent a van to bring them to Chittagong. After a short examination, Tanzila was approved for free cleft surgery.

One year later, we tried to see how Tanzila was doing. After a lot of searching and hunting down leads, we caught up to them in a village more than 120 miles away.

Abdus ran to us with a picture of his daughter and a smile that lit up his entire face. When we saw Tanzila in person, however, it was clear that the young woman’s real transformation was deeper than any photograph could capture.

Abdus was right. We did need to see her now. And as the ones who made her transformation possible, you do, too.

You can give people of all ages a second chance at life today.