Operation Smile

Project Motivations

Why are we doing this?

Worldwide, a child is born with a cleft lip or palate every 3 minutes. Without treatment, a cleft palate can cause difficulties with eating, drinking and breathing. In Eastern Morocco there are a limited number of facilities that treat cleft palates, and so families living in the East are forced to travel long distances to receive the crucial treatment for their children.

Article 25 and Operation Smile are working together to build a new clinic that will provide healthcare for children undergoing facial reconstructive surgery in the region of Oujda (a poorer region of Morocco, near the Algerian border).

Working side by side with our partner Sto AG Germany, the new clinic will be able to provide pre- and post-operative care as well as dental care to children who live in the wider area.

The project as a whole will also provide opportunities for local employment and use of local resources. 


This project is made possible thanks to our partners from: 

Project Timeline

The progress so far

Climate-specific design strategies

Article 25 completed a feasibility study with Max Fordham and assessed a suite of design principles that are to the cold semi-arid climate of Oujda, which will inform an efficient and sustainable design.

Maintaining year round comfort in Oujda is challenging. In winter months, Oujda gets as cold as 4°C, before reaching a Summer high of 33°C. In 2012, Morocco recorded an all-time temperature high of 49.6°C.

As such, you would expect that a range of design responses would be necessary. The strategy for a waiting room which has high human occupancy would be different from an office with low human occupancy.

Specifically, we are looking at incorporating these design principles:

1. Buildings should be designed and situated in relation to their orientation with larger facades looking out to the north and south and narrow facades facing east and west. This reduces the effect of direct sunlight hitting the building.

2. Shading, including shutters should be considered for windows on unshaded east and west facades.

3. Using natural envelopes, such as trees, to manage the effects of solar gain in a passive strategy to reduce temperature fluctuations within the building.

4. Effective use of insulation materials will minimise the heat loss from a building in the winter, and thermal mass will keep the building cool in the summer.

Final touches / 9 March 2018

On our last visit to Oujda, Morocco, we were pleased to find that work on the clinic was progressing well. So much has progressed since and we cannot wait to officially open the clinic for business in a couple of months.

In particular, we are happy to report that the wall and ceiling finishes are now complete, all the little faults have been corrected. A new railing has been installed on the roof terrace that will prevent small children from falling through the bannisters. The old electric system has been removed and a new one has been installed with excellent workmanship.

Much of this visit was dedicated to the installation of the Sto floors. Herbert and Sasha, two German Sto technicians were there to demonstrate how to mix the composites and how to install them.

It was also nice to see that the team of site workers and our clients having lunch together every day – today it was a tagine of chicken and peas.

Project Evaluation

What impact have we made?

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