Neath Abbey Helping Hands for cleft palate sufferers in Bangladesh
KIND-HEARTED knitters and crafters are using their skills to help change the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet.
Helping Hands Knitting Group has just raised more than £600 for BanglaCymru, a charity that funds cleft and palate operations in Bangladesh.
The Wales-Bangladesh link-up is the latest in a long line of projects for the Longford crafting group, which have ranged from providing Christmas boxes for Romanian orphans to supporting nursing homes in Neath.
Keen knitter Val Berni said the group had grown from a handful of members four years ago to more than 40 now — and helping others through their handiwork was the driving force behind it.
She said: "Cleft lip is horrible condition which can effect a child's whole life.
"BanglaCymru does great work in correcting the condition with surgery, and also in treating burns at their medical centre in Bangladesh.
"An operation to correct a cleft lip conditions costs around £150 and it changes a child's life — the results are amazing
"We are delighted to be able to support the work of the charity."
To say thank you to the Neath Abbey knitters, staff from the charity visited their meeting yesterday to talk about their work and the difference the operations can make.
A cleft lip or palate is a gap or split in either the upper lip or the roof of the mouth that occurs when separate areas of the face do not join together properly when a baby is developing during pregnancy.
In many countries around the word the condition carries a sever social stigma for suffers.
A spokesman for BanglaCymru said: "The operation we offer changes the lives dramatically, not only visually, but also emotionally, socially and economically."