Here's Why You Need to Care
As the team of volunteers walked through the Harare Hospital's pediatric ward, one of the
mothers stopped them. Tears were flowing down her face as her little body shook with
Love Without Reason specialists, staff, and volunteers know the importance of helping each
person bring a voice to their stories, consider their feelings, and provide a safe
Heartened by the volunteer's encouragement, she began, "Grace was born with a cleft lip seven
months before, and she was perfect to me," her mother said. "My husband despised her, so he told
me to stay in our home and not interact with the villagers. Everyone soon realized that
something was wrong with my baby. And they all talked about her. They called me names. They said
God cursed me. The weeks went by, and my baby continued to grow. But the villagers were not
happy with me. They complained to the chief all the time about my daughter and me. "
Mothers experience unimaginable hurdles in impoverished countries. A baby with cleft adds the
challenge of having no way to pay for travel and medical costs, where to access healthcare, how
to feed their baby. Many don't know that these babies are born into communities with
superstitious beliefs and misconceptions about a cleft lip-palate.
For Grace, weeks without rain and the community's dying crops meant a low harvest; everyone was
in danger of starvation. "The village chief declared that our village was cursed. And it was
cursed because of my baby, Grace. He made plans to murder my baby." Learning of his plans,
Grace's mother courageously resolved to leave the village.
Love Without Reason partners with phone companies in Africa to reach out via SMS text messages.
One of her friends showed her our SMS text that announced free cleft surgeries in Harare's
capital city. The capital was a one-day bus ride from her village.
She did not know what would happen once in the city, but she knew that this was Grace's only
chance. That day she found a way to escape the village. She boarded the bus to Harare and was
among the first to arrive at the hospital gates early for the Sunday morning medical camp. She
decided that her daughter will experience a good life.
She wept with gratitude as she expressed her joy, "I was so glad that Grace was healthy and
strong enough for surgery. I just wanted to tell you all how much I thank you for saving our
lives. We will go back home, and I know my family will receive us and celebrate Grace."