Here at Expert Recruits, we are immensely proud to be working in corporate partnership with Operation Smile, a charity with a big heart that is all about people.

Today is world Nutrition Day. A day to consider our own eating habits. A day to be grateful of just how fortunate we are to have safe and healthy nutritional options available to us here in the UK. A day to spare some thought to those less fortunate than us.

World Nutrition Day is backed by countries, governments, charities, WHO and many other organisations worldwide. It exists to promote the importance and value of safe nutritional care by increasing knowledge, awareness and to bring attention to the desperate conditions of malnutrition that many people still sadly face, as well as the significant threats this presents to human health and life.

Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – from a woman’s pregnancy to that child’s second birthday – can lock that little one into a lifetime of poor health, disease and social challenges that are devastating and irreversible.

During this critical period, if children don’t get the vital nutrition they need to grow, and develop their brains, they are not only more likely to get sick, and die, from diseases throughout their whole life, but they will also earn less than their peers when they enter adulthood.

There can be few greater injustices than a child whose potential and future is robbed off them before their life has barely started.

Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that mobilises a network of volunteers dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults by providing free surgeries for those born with cleft lip and cleft palate conditions.

Years ago, while aiding patient recruitment efforts for Operation Smile medical missions, Charlotte Stepling the Nutrition Programme Manager for Operation Smile came to a startling realisation.

“We were turning away patients suffering from malnutrition,” she said. “I was waiting to see these kids show up at the next mission, but they just weren’t coming back. They were dying, and it broke my heart.”

Children born with cleft conditions often face major challenges with feeding and receiving proper nourishment during the critical months after they’re born. These factors can lead to malnutrition, delays in growth and development and sometimes even death.

Charlotte continues “There was a patient with a bilateral cleft lip and cleft palate. He was maybe 4 months old when he first came to our medical mission. I had met his mother, and she was doing everything she could for her little boy. She was having challenges breastfeeding him because she was no longer producing milk and during the early months didn’t have the opportunity to receive counselling on relactation techniques. The baby was very hungry.

“At that time, I had opened up the nutrition centre, and she was one of its first members. Her son was part of the programme, and he was receiving RUTF through Operation Smile and breast milk substitutes as well. His mum also received meals, because it was apparent that she was having difficulties feeding herself.

“Then one day, he wasn’t feeling good. We brought him to the hospital in Antsirabe, and he was put in the paediatric ward, monitored over two days. His system just let go, and he didn’t make it.

“I often keep him and his mum in my thoughts when I design programmes. What if we had come in contact with them earlier? What if we had a strong programme a year prior to him being born? He could have come into the programme, and we could have intervened earlier and made a difference in his life. I never want another mum to feel that way or deal with the death of a child due to malnutrition when that’s something we can help with.”

Operation Smile knew that in order to uphold its promise of delivering high-quality, safe surgical care to as many patients as possible, nutrition needed to become a priority.

Due to the compassionate individuals like Charlotte who are devoted to helping bring nutritional support to the forefront, specialised programmes have been established in 24 countries including Madagascar, India, Ghana and Guatemala, where more patients’ lives are being saved through timely intervention and dietary education.

As a Business Ambassador to Operation Smile UK I have committed to promoting fundraising initiatives and activities as well as generate brand awareness for Operation Smile UK, also raising vital funds to support this wonderfully worthy cause.

I’d ask us all to consider today, on World Nutrition Day, how fortunate and blessed we are but also how it is we can help those that are most in need of help.

The team of medical volunteers at Operation Smile are ready to perform life changing cleft lip and palate surgery on children in need all around the world. But these heroes don’t stop there. It’s crucial for “children living with cleft conditions to be well-nourished before they can receive surgery and so Operation Smile make it their mission to deliver life saving and vital nutritional care to as many families in need as possible, worldwide.

Millions of people are starving and forced to live a life in the absence of basic essentials. It doesn’t have to be this way. It simply shouldn’t be this way.

You can make a difference. Please donate today and help more children benefit from the wonderful work that Operation Smile do. It takes as little as £150 and as few as 45 minutes to provide a bright, beautiful new smile and an even brighter future to a child born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.

Expert Recruits have committed to donating the funds required to change the life of 25 children since we launched the business just two months ago. I shall be personally donating a percentage of our profits each and every month. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than knowing that the wonderful work we do here at Expert Recruits enables life changing care in the form of a new smile to a child, somewhere else in the world.

We’re working hard to provide exceptional levels of service to our wonderful clients and candidates here in the UK but also to help provide safe surgeries and nutritional value that changes the lives of children and families in need all around the world – that’s incredibly special.

Please give whatever you can…