Smile Train and Holiday Inn & Suites Makati Host Workshop in Manila

In effort to provide support beyond free cleft surgery, Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft organization, conducted a workshop in partnership with the Holiday Inn & Suites Makati to help give cleft patients the proper tools, confidence building techniques and knowledge to prepare them for the workforce.

Smile Train
Patients from Smile Train partners, Philippine Band of Mercy and Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, learn skills needed to prepare for gainful employment from HR consultants and HR managers of various private and non-profit organizations.

“We’ve observed that later on in life after a patient undergoes cleft surgery, their confidence and social skills are affected,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train’s Area Director for South East Asia. “There’s a misconception on prejudices by companies against people born with facial differences that hinder them from applying for work which we would like to address. Smile Train’s job does not end with only supporting free cleft surgery. We want to be able to help those impacted by cleft in their journey to live a full and productive life.”

Human Resources consultants and managers from private companies like Holiday Inn & Suites Makati and Seda Hotel of Ayala Land and Resorts were invited to serve as trainers and facilitators for the workshop. Some of Smile Train’s patients that received cleft surgery and related treatment from partner hospitals, Philippine Band of Mercy and Noordoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines participated in the workshop.

Some of the activities presented during the workshop included: tips on how to write a proper resume, guidelines on how to present yourself during a job interview and mock interview exercises. Holiday Inn & Suites Makati also gave the participants a tour around the hotel to introduce them to different job functions in a hotel setting.

After concluding the workshop, Holiday Inn & Suites Makati took the opportunity to turn over the funds they raised over the holiday season to Smile Train. This is the second year Smile Train has partnered with the hotel. “We are proud to be a partner of Smile Train in creating a brighter future for Filipinos born with clefts. Today’s workshop was a meaningful experience for us at Holiday Inn,” said Mr Andy Belmonte, Hotel Manager of Holiday Inn & Suites Makati. “Our partnership with Smile Train goes beyond providing financial need as we would like to push for equality in every working environment.”

Smile Train
Mr. Harold Santos, Training Manager and Mr. Andy Belmonte, Hotel Manager turn over funds raised by Holiday Inn & Suites Makati over the holiday season to Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train’s Area Director for South East Asia.

For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to make a donation, please visit To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.