Smile Train

Smile Train is a nonprofit organization and charity providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates. Headquartered in New York City and founded in 1999, Smile Train provides free corrective cleft surgery in 87 countries, training local doctors and providing hospital funding for the procedures.

Program Assistant, DR Congo

Smile Train is a 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Founded in 1999, Smile Train focuses on providing free cleft-related training for doctors and medical professionals. We have assisted more than 1,500,000 children to date. Check out our website at to learn more.

 We are seeking a DR Congo-based Program Assistant to support the DRC Program Manager in developing and implementing an annual budget and long-term and short-term action plans to reach as many cleft-affected children as possible with cleft treatment, as quickly as possible, in the most cost-effective manner, whilst maintaining high standards of safety and quality.

 The Program Assistant will act when and where necessary to ensure the best interests of the organization and our programs. Be responsible for ensuring full compliance with Smile Train’s Safety & Quality Protocol and organizational Guidelines.

 This is a full-time position, starting as soon as possible. Ideal candidates must be based in Kinshasa, and speak both English and French fluently.


  • Within the framework of the approved budget, assist the Program Manager to implement and monitor operational plans with measurable targets, specific checkpoints, and clear financial commitments.
  • Assist the Program Manager to receive, review, and analyze all grant requests from local stakeholders, most typically local partner hospitals, and carry out ‘due diligence’ to either reject or approve those that fall within the agreed financial authority and plans, sharing with the DRC Program Manager when additional approvals are required.
  • Assist in hosting planned events and support field operations by providing logistical support (travel arrangements, bookings, handle phone calls); preparing marketing materials for distribution of display during branding social platforms.
  • Ensure all operations are legally and financially transparent and in compliance with all local laws and laws of the U.S. that apply to local business practices.
  • Speak up, when and where necessary, about the organization’s aims, values and practices; keep track of cleft-related issues and developments and share this feedback internally and with local partners.
  • Share Smile Train’s global messaging locally and help to build the brand and awareness of Smile Train program.
  • Capture and share stories, images, and videos that help to tell Smile Train’s story and that could be used across the organization to further Smile Train’s programs.
  • Maintain communication with existing partner hospitals in DR Congo and work with the Program Manager to ensure success of current and future programs.
  • Build and nurture the ‘Smile Train’ brand, developing an image of a focused, committed, ethical and caring organization upholding and furthering ‘best practices’ in cleft care. 
  • Assist the Program manager in serving as a point of contact for operations within DR Congo and communicate regularly with the DRC Program Manager to keep her informed of all significant developments and key plans.
  •  Additional projects or activities as needed.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily, specifically:   

  • BA or advanced degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, Law, Finance or any other relevant degree.
  • Thorough familiarity with the cultures of DRC and fluency in French, Lingala, Kiswahili and English are essential.
  • 2+ years related work experience in a coordination or management position in an international or national for-profit or not-for-profit organization with significant project management experience.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint) and ability to navigate databases and datasets.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Public speaking ability
  • Ability to work with a global team, exhibiting cultural sensitivity, a commitment to Smile Train’s mission, strong time management skills, and capacity to work independently with minimal or no supervision
  • Ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Detail oriented, adaptable, organized and ability to manage multiple tasks successfully.
  • High levels of energy and commitment to excellence.

 Application Details:

Smile Train is committed to diversity among its employees and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

To apply, please complete the application through the link below. Include your CV and a cover letter that describes why you believe you would be a good fit for Smile Train and this role.

 Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage interested applicants to apply as soon as possible.