Welcome to Cleft Bolivia!

What is Cleft Bolivia?

Cleft Bolivia is a cooperation of German and Bolivian NGOs. Our goal is to give all Bolivians with cleft lip and palate, a common birth defect, free access to the best possible cleft treatment. To achieve this, we collect donations and use them to fund surgeries performed by our Bolivian partner surgeons at hospitals throughout the country. In 2019, our surgeons performed 302 surgeries.

Who we are

Cleft Bolivia was founded by the German NGO Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe (DCKH) and Bolivian organizations Cleft Bolivia Amar y Sanar and Jiwaqui Bolivia. In 2020, the organization Ayninakuna joined the cooperation as a fourth partner. The care for cleft patients in Bolivia is not easy, since many of the families that need help live in remote regions of the country that are hard to access. Many poor families have no access to proper treatment.

The aid structure

We provide our help in Bolivia through a cooperation of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe (DCKH), headquartered in Germany, with three Bolivian non-profit organizations: Jiwaqui Bolivia, Cleft Bolivia Amar y Sanar, and Ayninakuna.

Jiwaqui Bolivia

Jiwaqui Bolivia was founded in 2015 by pediatric surgeon and director of the organization Dr. Adolfo Mamani. He treats cleft patients throughout the country. Since Cleft treatment is complex, he works at the head of an interdisciplinary team of professionals. DCKH started the cooperation with Jiwaqui Bolivia in 2015, starting off in La Paz. Since then Dr. Mamani has performed hundreds of surgeries, 200 in 2018 alone.

Cleft Bolivia Amar y Sanar

The cooperation with Cleft Bolivia Amar y Sanar began in 2009. This organization, based in Tarija, was founded by plastic surgeon Dr. Mario Villalba. The organization helps children with cleft lip and palate from all parts of the country by travelling to all regions of the country. For example they treat children from the surrounding lowland Bolivian rainforest in the city of Trinidad, or operate in the Andes mountains city of Cochabamba, and also go on yearly surgical campaigns to Yacuiba, Camiri, Riveralta, and Guayaramerín.

Dr Villalba operates on up to 100 children every year, 57 in 2018.


The organization Ayninakuna, located in Cochabamba, came aboard as an additional partner in 2020. Founded in 2017 by the pediatric surgeon Dr. Roberto Edmundo Rosa Ressini, the organization maintains a cleft treatment center at the Aranjuez-Klinik in Cochabamba. The organization offers an advanced treatment protocol with nasoalveolar molding (NAM), psychosocial care for the family, and aftercare including orthodontics and and speech therapy, if necessary. The initial cooperation is set to cover 100 cleft surgeries, and a further expansion is in planning.


The Bolivian partners give children and adults with cleft the specialized medical care they need, including surgeries, comprehensive follow-up, and rehabilitation. A focus is on disadvantaged people that might otherwise not have access to treatment. To support the effort, the partner organizations hold training courses, awareness campaigns, conferences, workshops, and professional exchanges, as well as encourage and develop research programs related to cleft.

DCKH raises donations to pay for the treatments and provides organizational support.

You can find further information about the organisations here:

Coronavirus and cleft care

Every three minutes, a cleft child is born somewhere in the world. As a result of the pandemic, many cleft children could not be treated in 2020. The need is particularly great now and COVID-19 continues to complicate the working conditions. Thanks to our local surgeons on site, who did everything in their power to continue helping, we were still able to make many surgeries possible last year. Our goal for 2021 is to finance 6,500 operations for cleft children in all Cleft Group countries combined.