Hello, my name is Harminder Sahota and I was born with a cleft-lip and palate.
I have had operations as a baby and adolescent and am due to have a two more.
Having a cleft-lip and palate made me more self-conscious about how I look and the way others perceived me as I did endure some bullying. Although this hurt, it taught me a great lesson that, it is what you think about yourself that matters and not what others think, as trying to please others would not bring me happiness. I have learnt to accept myself for who I am, something I personally think anyone should try regardless of having a cleft-lip or not. I believe everything happens for a reason and maybe if I wasn’t born with a cleft-lip I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I feel it’s important to remember that having a cleft-lip and palate, you have to go through so much physically and emotionally and this takes courage and strength which we sometimes forget when, for example being bullied.
I think being part of the young people’s CLAPA council is a great way to help people become more aware about the charity, and about cleft-lip and palates. I love helping and advising others with any problems that they may have as I can empathise and in most cases relate to them.
Things that really helped me were getting involved in activities where I could express my feelings and get in touch with my creative side. Also having someone to talk to regularly about how I’m feeling helps to get all the negative emotions out of my system.
Thank you for reading this, if anyone reads this and wants some help or advice or just a chat, feel free to drop me a message :D
Joining the council
If you would like to become a council member and you are aged between nine and seventeen years old all you have to do is fill out the three-paged application form and send it back to Claire at CLAPA saying why you would like to be involved.
Once Claire has received the completed application form she will take it to the next meeting of the council for the members to see. A decision will be made after that time. The council would really like some new members so please do apply.Download the application form