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Deutsche Cleft

Overview of organisation

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe (DCKH) is a German NGO providing care to cleft children in developing countries.

DCKH’s main project regions are South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan), South America (Bolivia, Peru), and East Africa (Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania), with smaller projects in other regions. Several thousand surgeries, as well as speech therapy, orthodontics, psychological care, social work and self-help resources for parents are provided each year.

DCKH provided 6,280 cleft surgeries in the last year before Covid. The pandemic did disrupt our work, but we are adapting and hope to return to our pre-Covid numbers soon. Our locally rooted structures with all-local personnel proved themselves and let us avoid disruptions due to travel restrictions.

We raised €2.729 million in funds in 2020.

Our funding is provided by private persons and businesses, as well as charities and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. In major project countries, funds are also raised locally.

DCKH was founded in 2002.


Aims of organisation

Our aim is to provide excellent, comprehensive, free care to cleft patients whose families could not afford treatment otherwise. We strive to make the structures providing this care 100% locally based and run, with local doctors and therapists trained to the highest professional standards providing the care, and local fundraising efforts.


Examples of progress made or particular achievements

In our largest project country India, we built a cleft treatment infrastructure with 26 locations, staffed exclusively by local personnel, in two decades of patient, dedicated effort. The most advanced of these locations are offering full comprehensive cleft care with all necessary follow-up treatments. A permanent local partner organization provides supervision, knowhow, and raises funds in-country. This level of care and rootedness is the goal we are ultimately working towards at all of our project locations in all countries.

In East Africa, where trained medical personnel is scarce, we have succeeded in building a multinational team of East African doctors that provides care at multiple locations across borders and which is being expanded further.


Opportunities to get involved

We are always interested in new project partners, so please do get in touch if you are, or know of, a surgeon or a hospital administrator in a developing country looking for a partner to build a treatment infrastructure and fund cleft surgeries for patients from disadvantaged populations.

We are also always interested in sharing knowledge and experiences and in networking with all likeminded professionals in the field of cleft care.


Contact details

Phone: +49 (0)761 137976-0