Sulu Garden Foundation, Inc [SGF] targets zero cleft palate deformities in Panay by end of 2025

September 27, 2022

SGF has sponsored Robin Haywood and his wife Laura Reaney (both originally from Nevada, USA) since 2021 under the Philippine 9G visa program to help coordinate the Community Outreach Program of the Foundation. Robin and Laura have been working with Medical Mission Matters, Inc. and Smile Train to help with childhood deformities. Both Laura and Robin travel throughout the villages of Panay Island in 2014 to identify children with cleft palate deformities from very poor families who can avail of free medical care during one of the medical missions. In Asia, 1 in every 500 births has cleft deformities. 

Robin Haywood and his wife Laura Reaney

Untreated, these children have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. In the Philippines, with the estimated live birth by end of 2022 at 686,000, there will be another 2,700+ new children with cleft palate added to the growing population of children in need of surgery. What causes cleft palate remains a mystery even today.

“It is through NGOs like Sulu Garden Foundation sponsoring individuals like my wife Laura and I who volunteer to go out into the communities to inform parents and locate the children in need of help. With the wide range of contacts and associations provided by the Sulu Garden Foundation, we can reach people in need and help keep the dream of Larry Mally, the founder of Medical Mission Matters, alive. Last August 2022, we were able to participate in a successful medical mission in the town of Culasi in Antique Province and changed the lives of 48 children,” says Robin Haywood.


Jonathan R. Matias, Chairman of SGF said, “Once I saw a child with cleft palate and then saw the difference after the operation, I was convinced that we need to do something more. I met Larry Mally once in 2016 and 

also felt his passion. Those minor operations can transform the life of a child, from being bullied, and ostracized with no hope for a better future into a new child with the same opportunities as any other to grow into a productive adult who can chase his/her dreams. SGF is fortunate to have Robin Haywood and his wife Laura Reaney joining us for our program of “ZERO CLEFT PALATE DEFORMITY IN PANAY BY 2025.”

About Medical Mission Matters Phils Group, Inc.

Medical Mission Matters Phils Group, Inc. was founded in 2014 by Larry Mally (a retired police officer from Miami, Florida, USA). 


Before that, he founded Operation Newface Philippines and assisted Operation Yuhum in setting up free medical missions in Panay and Negros Islands. Due to Sir Larry’s personal efforts over the years and with the help of various foundations, it is estimated that more than 11,000 children from indigent families have benefited from free cleft palate operations. Unfortunately, Larry Mally was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2018. His dream of helping the very poor children of the Philippines lives on through the support of Smile Train, Medical Mission Matters and the Sulu Garden Foundation. The current president of Medical Mission Matters is Bruce Hall. Read more from their website at

About Smile Train

Smile Train is the largest organization in the world that works through non-governmental organizations like Medical Mission Matters to provide funding for free operations to correct cleft palate deformities around the world. To date, Smile Train supported 1.5 million cleft palate surgeries in more than 90 countries since 1999. Read More on their website:

Larry Mally, founder of Medical Mission Matters Phils Group, Inc. and a cleft palate patient.

About Sulu Garden Foundation, Inc.

SGF is a non-governmental organization based in Miag-ao, Iloilo that focuses on arts, heritage, science and community outreach. To learn more about SGF’s community-related actions, please read this link:


Written by: Jonathan R. Matias (See profile)

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