Christmas is a time for giving and this year MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and their partner, Woolworths, will give 100 kids a smile for Christmas when they help Operation Smile, a MyVillage beneficiary, perform 100 life changing operations for South African children born with cleft palates and cleft lips. Dubbed the ‘Smile for Life’ Campaign, MySchool and Woolworths have committed to raise more than half a million rand to perform these lifesaving operations. In a bid to help them reach this goal, MySchool and Woolworths are reminding their customers to swipe their MySchool cards during the festive season. From 26 November to 25 December, the first time on any day that you swipe your MySchool My Village My Planet card at a Woolworths store, they'll not only make the usual donation to your current beneficiary, they'll make an additional donation to the Operation Smile ‘Smile for Life’ campaign on your behalf — and it won't cost you a cent. Performing these operations will vastly improve 100 kids’ quality of life as 1 in every 1 000 babies born in Africa is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, and 1 in 10 of these babies does not survive to reach their first birthday, largely as a result of their inability to suckle. Statistics on the number of children who develop hearing loss as a result of their clefts vary from 30% to nearly 90%. This hearing loss results both from ear infection, because they are not able to clear their ears, and burst eardrums because of excess air. Braam Malherbe, Operation Smile ambassador says, “Due to the unfortunate disfigurements caused by cleft palates and lips, children are usually ostracised in their social environments. They face ridicule as the condition is not understood. This often prevents them from going to school and forming healthy relationships or finding employment as adults. The good news is that cleft lip repairs can take as little as 45 minutes to change a child’s life and future forever. Please Do One Thing (DOT) and help a child to smile.” Operation Smile is a non-profit organisation that mobilises generous hearts all over the world to help children and young adults with correctable facial deformities. With their team of volunteer doctors and nurses they aim to offer over 1000 life changing operations a year in Southern Africa and provide training to help others treat and support those born and living with cleft lips and cleft palates. Operation Smile raises funds to cover the costs of these missions and training and have a commitment never to make a financial impact on the local Ministries of Health. As a result they take up to 2 tons of cargo with them on every mission and bring every glove, gown and stitch as well as all the medication with them that is needed to perform the operations. If you would like to make an ongoing difference to Operation Smile, you can select them as one of your beneficiaries – you’ll find them under the list of MyVillage beneficiaries. Customers who do not yet have a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card are encouraged to sign up for one in any Woolworths store and select Operation Smile as their beneficiary. This will help support a sustainable income stream for Operation Smile, helping them give many more kids a smile for life throughout the year. For more information about the Operation Smile ‘Smile for Life’ Campaign visit or call 0860 100 445. Terms and Conditions apply. ENDS