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Igniting Change Podcast Season 3: Episode 9

Rachel Kimber, Vice President of Grants Management at Smile Train, joins us to discuss the inspirational journey from her upbringing, traveling on her gap year(s), to how she began working at a global charity that supports children born with cleft palates in 70 different countries.


S2 blogpost episode 9

1 in every 700 babies is born with a cleft.

In the US and UK, cleft surgery is usually carried out within the first 12 months of a baby’s life. However, hundreds of thousands of children in resource-poor communities worldwide do not have access to the lifesaving cleft treatment they desperately need.

That’s what makes the work that Smile Train does absolutely vital for children around the world.

On this week’s episode, Rich and Puff sit down with Rachel Kimber to learn more about her inspirational work with Smile Train, a public charity that focuses on caring for cleft palate-affected individuals and their families. Their business model is highly sustainable to provide training, funding, and resources to medical professionals in 70 different countries around the world

Meet Rachel

For more than 15 years, Rachel has led and contributed to the nonprofit sector through her commitment to grantmaking that is human-centered, data-informed, and technology-supported, all to advance the implementation of emergent grantmaking practices around equity and technological innovations.

At Smile Train, Rachel is setting the strategic direction of the department, with a focus on improving collaboration across the organization, designing and implementing efficient and effective processes and practices, providing governance for the organization’s grants management system and related data, and developing structures to support the successful execution of these initiatives.


One of the fantastic aspects of Smile Train is that we are focused on empowering local users. We are teaching people in countries and leveraging state of the art technology to change the world!

Rachel Kimber, Vice President of Grants Management, Smile Train

About Smile Train

Smile Train is the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, with a sustainable and local model of supporting surgery and other forms of essential care. Over the last 24 years, they have supported safe and quality cleft care for 1.5+ million children and will continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.

But what makes Smile Train different?

Smile Train supports local medical professionals and local hospitals — it’s how they build up healthcare infrastructure around the world while providing care 365 days a year.

Beyond surgery, their local partners also provide speech therapy, psychological support, nutritional services, orthodontics, and other essential forms of care to ensure that children with clefts have everything they need to not just live, but thrive.

Don’t just take it from me, get a proper introduction to Smile Train in the video below!

Listen to the full episode here

To hear more of the conversation with Rachel listen now using the links below!

For more things tech for good, stay tuned to our blog or shout us a holla to get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you 💚

Published on May 10, 2023, last updated on May 10, 2023

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