Our Story

Meet the Team


Contact details: 067 870 0631
Email: Mamotuku@smilefoundationsa.org

Madge Blignaut

Born with a cleft and Co-Founder

Madge was born with a unilateral cleft of the lip and soft palate at a time when not a lot of support and information was available to her parents. She underwent multiple operations and had to deal with bullying as a young girl growing up with a cleft. This led to emotional trauma and low self-esteem as a young woman. Despite life’s setbacks, leaning of her faith in God and discovering that part of God’s purpose for her life is to share her story. She now readily speaks at schools and organisations encouraging not just those born with a cleft but all young people to embrace their differences.

    Sylvia Mchunu

    Lead Support Parent & Gauten Coordinator at Smile Foundation

    Sylvia Mchunu from Gauteng is a lead support mom for Cleft Friends a project of Smile Foundation. Her daughter, Princess, was born with a cleft lip and palate in 2013 and has undergone 5 surgeries and continues with speech therapy.

    Sylvia has signed up to be on all Support WhatsApp Groups across the country that support approx. 400 families on a day to day basis. This is an amazing opportunity for our members as well as Sylvia who continues to advocate for cleft lip and palate treatment in South Africa from a parents perspective. Sylvia also works for Smile Foundation as a Gauteng Hospital Coordinator and has access to resources and tools to empower cleft families.

    Lynette Dean

    Counselling Psychologist

    Lynette is a counselling psychologist based in Port Elizabeth. She has been the Regional Psychologist for Smile Foundation for many years. She also works with parents of premature babies, helping them to cope with challenges in the NICU. She is passionate about assisting new parents to adjust to parenthood.