Every child deserves a secure sense of self – the very foundation from which their greatest potential can be reached.

For the first time ever, medical students from the Surgical Societies of the University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University are collaborating in an inter-university campaign to raise funds for the Smile Foundation.

This collaboration has arisen in response to the dire need to reduce the backlog of children waiting to receive their facial reconstructive surgeries since the beginning of Lockdown.

The theme of the virtual fitness event is Mt. Kilimanjaro. This iconic mountain has seen climbers from all walks of life reach its summit in an effort to raise funds for the Smile Foundation. This year, due to the pandemic and the uncertainties surrounding travelling, the students sought to bring you a virtual summit which you can do in your very own neighbourhood!

Join the students in this fundraiser with a purpose by taking part in the virtual event in which you can walk or run the distance equivalent to the vertical height of Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895m). Choose between 6km, 12km or 18km as your desired distance and take part in the event anywhere and anytime on September 25 or 26, 2021.

Tickets and donations

Tickets are R50 and can be purchased from WebTickets or Pick n Pay stores nationwide. You will receive a virtual race bib (for download) and a custom completion certificate (for download). Friends, family, colleagues, neighbours – ANYONE is welcome. The more join, the more smiles they can give!

The details of the event can be found at https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/event.aspx?itemid=1507998527. All proceeds go directly to the Smile Foundation.

If walking or running is not for you, help them reach their donation goal of R30,000 to pay for a day theatre slate by September 30, 2021. The donations will go towards children’s facial surgeries. Donations are fast, secure and go straight to the Smile Foundation.


About the Smile Foundation

The Smile Foundation is a registered NPO whose main focus is to address medical backlogs in the public healthcare system in dealing with children who suffer from treatable abnormalities such as cleft lip, cleft palate, burn wounds, Moebius Syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions through life-changing reconstructive surgeries.

Reconstructive surgery is performed to treat structures of the body affected aesthetically or functionally, be it congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumours, or disease. It is generally done to improve function and ability but may also be performed to achieve a more typical appearance of the affected structure.

Patients are sourced via the hospital referral system, word-of-mouth, media, awareness/campaigns (e.g., posters at clinics), donor referrals, Smile Foundation’s Mobile Application referral tool and toll-free number.

Patients are medically assessed and if the patient’s condition is urgent, Smile Foundation ensures they are assessed as scheduled into the hospital operating programme. If not urgent, they are added to an upcoming Smile Week schedule or during the Paediatric theatre slate as listed at that hospital.

The Smile Foundation currently operates through 11 Academic Hospitals in South Africa and, to date, have helped over 3600 children receive surgeries that have changed their lives.

To read up more about the Smile Foundation and the incredible work they do, please visit


Note on sponsored article:

This article was published as free added value as part of a campaign for the Wits Student Surgical Society handled by SNA owner Veldfire Media. This article was not paid for and SNA opted to publish this in the interest of supporting a worthwhile cause. In fact, we felt it was such a good cause we have donated all profits from this campaign (R100) to the Smile Foundation. It felt very good and we highly recommend it! We have, however, marked it as a sponsored post in the spirit of full disclosure as there was an element of commercial interest.