Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels And The Smile Foundation Help 22 Children Get Their Smile Back This Smile Week

On Mandela Day last year, Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels partnered with the Smile Foundation and set out to raise funds to perform 30 life-changing surgeries as part of the organisation’s Smile Week at a cost of R750,000. However, through the generosity of the Jacaranda FM listeners and the Good Morning Angels fund, R2.1 million was eventually raised, allowing for 82 smiles to be repaired.

Smile Week is a full working week during which surgeons, their surgical teams and other medical professionals come together to perform reconstructive surgery on children whose families would not otherwise be able to afford it. This dedicated week of surgeries supplements the regular operation schedule and similar weeks held throughout the year.

From 11 March 2024, Smile Week takes place at Universitas Academic Hospital and through the funds raised by the station, 22 children their smiles back with the corrective surgery they’ve so desperately been waiting for this week.

Among the 22 children undergoing surgery are little Naledi and Arrianna Botha. Naledi was born with Microtia – a congenital ear deformity where the external ear is underdeveloped. She will undergo an outer ear reconstruction using cartilage from her rib.

Meanwhile, 9-year-old Arrianna from Sasolburg, survived a brutal dog attack on September 20, 2022. The family dog attacked her at her home, causing extensive damage to her scalp, multiple bite wounds, and emotional trauma. This incident and the subsequent bullying due to her disfigurement have significantly impacted her life. During last year’s Smile Week, Arrianna underwent scalp expander surgery to repair the damage to her head, during which a tissue expander was surgically placed under her scalp and inflated gradually for months with saline solution. This year, Arrianna will undergo a follow-up procedure which will involve removing the tissue expander and stretching the scalp flap to cover the extensive damaged area with hair.

Smile Foundation

“Our purpose-driven work to change lives in our community for the past 19 years has seen many projects come to life through Good Morning Angels, but this one is extra special because these surgeries will be life-changing for these children who deserve every opportunity in life,” Deirdre King, Managing Director of Jacaranda FM says.

Martin Bester, host of Jacaranda FM’s popular ‘Breakfast With Martin Bester’ adds, “Last year for Mandela Day we, once again, realised the power of the Jacaranda FM listeners when they donated R2,1 million to the Smile Foundation. Their generosity is far-reaching. The circle is just getting bigger and bigger when it comes to the care and kindness and compassion of our listeners. 22 children will now be able to smile once again and get all of the love and confidence that comes with that. A huge thank you to our Jacaranda FM family who have contributed towards this amazing cause.”

“We thank the phenomenal team of surgeons, medical professionals, and hospital staff at UAH, who will be dedicating their time and talents to give these children the surgery they need. We also express our heartfelt appreciation to Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels and all the listeners for their contributions, which have led to countless more smiles and brighter futures. Through our many Smile Weeks, we have learned that unconditional love is a catalyst for reshaping destinies for the better. Having a steadfast sense of self is every child’s birth right and we are honoured to play a part in helping children – who lack this due to physical abnormalities – find a happier and more fulfilling way of being,” concludes Tarri Parfitt, CEO of Smile Foundation.