Smile Train supporter, Elouan Biwole, received free cleft lip surgery as an infant, but he recently found out that other children born with clefts were not as fortunate.
When Elouan Biwole came across Smile Train’s documentary film Smile Pinki in his living room, he asked his mother if he could watch the film. The family had never had an in-depth conversation about Elouan’s cleft lip surgery, but, now that he was seven-years old, his mother Melena believed that it was time for him to learn more about cleft and she agreed that they should watch the film as a family.
After a silent and tear-filled viewing, Elouan said, “I want to help them mummy, but I am too small to get a job.” Elouan was an excellent runner and his mother suggested that the two of them could raise funds for Smile Train by using their skills. Elouan’s sister, Amandine, was so touched by the documentary that she decided to join in as well.
The Biwole family signed up to run in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival with the goal of helping nine children across the developing world receive new smiles. The family prepared for the race over the course of several months — each week they become stronger runners and were inspired to keep going as they watched their fundraising totals increase.
After completing the race, Melena shared, “It was such a lovely day in Bournemouth and the atmosphere was electric. We were all a bit nervous, but we really enjoyed it in the end. Each of us finished our race and we are very excited and proud of ourselves — even more so now that we have raised enough so that nine children will have new smiles!”
Smile Train’s Hannah Weston, Manager, Community and Events Fundraising UK, commented, “It is so fantastic that the Biwole family took on this challenge together. Congratulations to you all on your fantastic achievements! We are honoured to have your support, and from all of us here at Smile Train — thank you.”
If you would like to find out more about Elouan and the rest of the Biwole family, or to donate to their efforts, please visit their JustGiving page. If you are interested in turning miles into smiles, just like Elouan, visit our Smile Train Team EMPOWER page.