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Overcoming Bullying From Cleft Lip

Field Report by Michael Saks

CAMBODIA – In the lush, remote villages of Cambodia, a young boy named Keara faced a challenge that extended beyond the typical trials of childhood. Born with a cleft lip, Keara’s condition was more than a medical issue—it was a source of social isolation and bullying.

bullying from cleft lip

A Cleft Lip’s Impact: More Than Cosmetic

For four-year-old Keara, the cleft lip was not just a physical ailment; it was a barrier to acceptance among his peers. His father, Saene, noticed his son’s growing self-consciousness and desire to change. Keara’s own brother felt the sting of the cruel taunts hurled at him. It brought him to tears and angered him.

The Stigma of Cleft: Battling Bullying From Cleft Lip

Children in the village would call Keara ‘arche’, the local term for ‘cleft boy’, and would sometimes resort to physical aggression. This bullying had a profound effect on Keara, so much so that his mother feared for his future, worrying about the psychological toll this could take as he grew older.

Hope on the Horizon: Operation Blessing Provides Help

The turning point for Keara came when a local pastor introduced his family to Operation Blessing. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Keara was taken to a city hospital for free surgery to repair his cleft lip. The success of the operation was more than a physical repair—it was a restoration of hope, dignity, and a future free from the fear of social ostracism.

Post-Surgery: A Future Without Bullying

The transformation post-surgery was profound. Keara’s lip, once a source of scorn, now reflected the beauty of a child’s innocent smile. The village’s perception shifted, and the taunts ceased. Keara’s parents, overwhelmed with gratitude, no longer had to worry about the heavy burden of surgery costs or their son’s wellbeing.

Your Kindness Helps in So Many Ways

Your kindness did more than just physically heal Keara. You helped his emotional well being as well. The cruel taunts over his lip have stopped. This has not just brought relief to him, but peace to his family. Thank you for your heart to care for others! Please continue to support surgeries that can change lives.

healed from bullying

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