Peter Ojok was born with a bilateral cleft lip in Kabar, Uganda. The name ‘Ojok’ in Uganda literally translates to ‘cursed by god’. Peter’s father passed away when he was young, and his mother Sophia was left to raise Peter and his four siblings alone.
When Peter became old enough to attend school, he was denied entry because of the village’s social stigma toward clefts. Sophia recalls that people always treated the family differently after Peter was born, “they said he was a sign of our family’s bad luck.”
After years of saving her money, Sophia found a nearby medical facility that would operate on Peter’s cleft lip. This non-Smile Train affiliated hospital completed the cleft surgery, but it was unsuccessful. Sophia did not know what to do, she didn’t have enough money for another surgery.
Fortunately, Smile Train partner hospital CoRSU held a community outreach campaign in Gulu District, Uganda and outreach workers soon referred Peter to CoRSU for his free cleft repair surgery. In March 2015, Smile Train partner surgeon Dr. George Galiwango completed a stunning cleft repair that left Peter’s mother in disbelief.
14-year-old Peter also benefits from free dental care at the newly established dental clinic at CoRSU. Now that the surgeries are complete he plans to fulfill his greatest desire of attending school alongside of his siblings.