Disappeared From the Face of the Earth

Goizom's story

Goizom Danza Maleguidjeo’s name translates to “disappeared from the face of the Earth” in her native language in Cameroon. Unfortunately for Goizom, this is not far off from how she spent her childhood. She could not attend school or play with other children her age because of the fear from local parents in her village that she would bewitch their children.

It is a tradition in Goizom’s Mafa tribe for families to send their first daughter into marriage when they turn 16, but this was not the case for Goizom. At age 18, she still lived at home with no suitor, or any friends to talk to. The men in her village believed that since Goizom was born with a cleft, all of her future children would have clefts as well.

Goizom’s life changed one day when a Smile Train community worker came to her village. When the community worker announced that Smile Train helps provide free surgery for children with clefts, Goizom couldn’t believe the news. She knew her parents could not afford the financial cost of a surgery to fix her cleft and she had given up on her dream of having her cleft repaired a long time ago.

When Goizom arrived at Smile Train’s local partner, Maroua Regional hospital, she was surprised to see so many people who had similar cleft conditions as her own. She watched as patients would go in and out of surgery and was amazed by the great new smiles on their faces. When her turn finally arrived, she was ready. 18 long years of waiting for a new smile were finally over.

Today Goizom has returned to her village a completely changed person, proud of herself and full of self-confidence. No longer “disappeared from the face of the Earth,” she is looking forward to her bright future that is now full of endless possibilities.

Goizom After

4 thoughts on “Disappeared From the Face of the Earth

  1. The job of ‘putting smiles into the world’ is great and I admire your hard work in a world full of personal greed.
    I would like to contribute monthly with 10 euros, but it seems Smile Train doesn’t have that option. I already wrote once, asking that and how to proceed, but nobody answered me.
    Raquel Alcobia

    • Hi Raquel,

      Thank you for reaching out to Smile Train and thank you so much for your support. If you would like to donate in euros you can send your contribution to:
      Smile Train UK
      PO Box 583
      Northampton, NN3 6UH

      Cheques should be made payable to: Smile Train UK.

      Unfortunately right now we don’t have a way to make a monthly contribution in euros.

      Thank you again for your support.
      Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Smile Train

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