Have you ever heard about Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that performs safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, and delivers post operative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle-income countries.
Did you know that every three minutes there is a child born with a cleft and their chance to make it to their first birthday are slim to none.
Children with cleft conditions who survive may have difficulty eating, speaking, hearing or breathing properly. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can’t afford the surgeries they need to live a productive life.
Cam you imagine growing up and being shunned or rejected all because of the way you look. Every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care. Every child deserves a future filled with hope.
That’s where we come in as the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults. Our work creates a lasting global impact. We train local medical professionals in developing countries and strengthen healthcare systems so more children in some of the poorest areas in the world can be treated.
These are a bunch of people who care enough to try to help these children.
Together, our staff and volunteer medical teams repair clefts, advocate for patients, lead research into the cause, prevention and treatment of cleft conditions, and ultimately aim to eradicate cleft defects globally. This is made possible by the generous support of our donors, international partners and other non-medical volunteers.
Operation Smile has gained extensive knowledge and insight into the challenges facing global health in the developing world. Poverty, malnutrition, cultural superstitions, and a severe lack of specialized surgeons in many resource-poor environments are all part of the problem
Operation Smile surgeries are conducted by our credentialed medical volunteer base of thousands of surgeons, anesthesiologist, dentists, nurses and other professionals. These dedicated individuals donate their time and talent throughout the world. Our volunteers are the drive, the spirit and the reason we’ve been able to provide over 220,000 free surgeries at no cost to our patients and their families.
We bring the highest quality of care to every child, every time. We were the first cleft organization supporting the World Health Organization’s “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” initiative. Our Global Standards of Care is our commitment to ensuring that every patient cared for by Operation Smile will benefit from the same sophisticated equipment, procedures and highly trained, credentialed medical professionals, no matter where they receive treatment.
The global demand for cleft repair surgery is staggering and can only be met if we help countries move toward self-reliance and build sustainable solutions. Education, training, medical equipment, best surgical practices and an expanding network of year-round care centers are some of our highest priorities. We work in over 60 countries, and 67 percent of our surgeries are performed by in-country, local medical volunteers during medical missions or at care centers — allowing us to deliver essential high-quality care to more and more children each year.
We lead the way
Raising awareness and advocating for increased access to safe surgical care to reduce the incidence of clefts are major initiatives. Our network of global Foundations, as well as our research and advocacy efforts in the world health community are helping us to make significant strides in these initiatives. Through our student leadership programs, we’re also leading the way for students to learn more about childhood facial deformities and understand how they are empowered to make a difference in their community and the world. By engaging students from kindergarten all the way to college, we aim to build future leaders and humanitarians who will help us heal more smiles in the future.
We continually educate and train
Providing medical education and training is one of the cornerstones of who we are. One in seven children worldwide have no access to health services. To alleviate this inequity, we are steadfast in our commitment to train local surgeons, anesthesiologist, and other essential medical professionals in resource-poor environments so they are empowered to treat their own communities, with their own resources, their own volunteers and their own supplies. Operation Smile offers educational exchange programs to medical professionals through partnerships with leading academic institutions and through the American Heart Association international life-support program. By collaborating with volunteers, business leaders, universities and governments, we are reaching our goal to create an expanding network of highly trained local medical volunteers that will provide the best care possible to the children we help.
RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own – to other students… which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they’d make through buyback options! (selling their books back at the end of the semester) Isn’t that awesome