All Aboard! Smile Train Partners With Mercy Ships

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$1.5 million grant to fund cleft lip and palate surgeries in Africa.

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Through the combined efforts of The Smile Train and Mercy Ships, we look forward to multiplying our efforts to bring hope and healing to the world's most needy continent - Africa. Mercy Ships is literally bringing the hospital to the patients and we are very pleased to now partner with The Smile Train to restore hope and joy to children around the world.

The Smile Train awarded one of the largest grants in their history -- $1.5 million payable to Mercy Ships, a global charity bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor. The grant will be disbursed over the next 9 years and will fund 6,050 cleft lip and palate surgeries, primarily in West Africa. The first installment of the grant has been made and to date, 74 cleft surgeries have been performed onboard a Mercy Ship docked in Ghana as a result. Going forward, the Smile Train grant will help to fund the cleft lip and palate surgical program onboard the Africa Mercy, the world's largest non-governmental hospital ship set to deploy in the spring of 2007.

The Smile Train is known for their worldwide partnerships with agencies that perform cleft lip and palate surgeries. Mercy Ships is pleased to work with Smile Train to alleviate this easily repaired condition that, left untreated, leaves children with a debilitating condition.

Don Stephens, Founder of Mercy Ships commented, "Through the combined efforts of The Smile Train and Mercy Ships, we look forward to multiplying our efforts to bring hope and healing to the world's most needy continent - Africa. Mercy Ships is literally bringing the hospital to the patients and we are very pleased to now partner with The Smile Train to restore hope and joy to children around the world."

Mercy Ships is committed to alleviating human suffering and distress by bringing world-class medical and community services to the world's forgotten poor. Founded in 1978 as a global charity by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to the forgotten poor.

The Mercy Ships crew is made up of volunteer professionals from around the world. Doctors, dentists, nurses, community developers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and many others donate their time and skills to the effort. Since its inception in 1978, Mercy Ships has performed more than 1.5 million services, with a value of $600 million and has directly impacted more than 1.7 million people.

The Smile Train, the world's largest cleft charity, focuses on a single problem: cleft lip and palate. They empower local doctors in developing countries and 100% of donations are used for programs. They have the lowest cost per surgery of any cleft charity and the best safety and quality record amongst cleft charities.

For further information, contact:

Mercy Ships

Mike Osborne

954-538-4239

osbornem (at) mercyships.org

http://www.mercyships.org

The Smile Train

Priscilla Ma

Senior Marketing Manager

pma (at) smiletrain.org

http://www.smiletrain.org

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Mike Osborne
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