"I am because you are. A simple statement. But one in which we find incredible power. Ubuntu teaches us that we’re all inextricably linked –that in order for one to succeed, the whole must succeed. It teaches us that to be human, one needs humanity –that there is an element of ourselves in all whom we meet."
"This is the story of a young boy and an old man. A story of how this connection is able to change a life forever. Thulani was born with a cleft lip and abandoned by his family. He lived on the streets, an outcast shunned by society. There was, however, one man that always greeted Thulani when their paths crossed. They never spoke, but he had always recognized something of himself in the boy. The man was old –his face masked behind a bushy grey beard.
One day he stopped to speak. He told Thulani that Operation Smile would be visiting a village a few days away. But Thulani had no money. Together, the two collected enough to pay for two bus tickets and made their way to the mission. Thulani’s surgery was successful. He could barely believe he was looking at himself when the old man held a mirror to his face. The old man was offered a bath and a shave. As he emerged, it became clear why they’d shared such a connection. Behind the old man’s grey beard, remained the scar of a cleft lip."