Regular contributor to Speech & Language Therapy in Practice Paula Leslie is running a half marathon to raise funds for a small charity with a big goal of providing medical and surgical services to children around the world with facial deformities. (You can support her at firstgiving.)
One of Paula's colleagues Rhona Galera worked with Faces of Tomorrow on its first mission in Ecuador, and hopes to return in January 2010. Rhona and Paula wrote an evidence-based article in the Summer 09 issue about the importance of nurturing native language and traditional family cultures. Faces of Tomorrow emphasises that it works within the cultures of the communities it serves. On the 2009 trip the team carried out over 100 assessments, over 80 surgical procedures and dental work, and offered education sessions on subjects such as speech issues.
Paula explains, "The Speech Pathology component of this clinical team is essential to the communication outcomes of the people who have surgery. Rhona's work goes beyond just the trip because she trains and supports the local speech team in many aspects of our field, not just the cleft lip and palate work." Rhona features in this trailer of a film made by Meg Pinsonneault about the team's experience in Ecuador.