Operation Smile enters 30th year

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Photo from Engr. Grace Nicolas

By Grace Bondad Nicolas, Contributor

This 2012, Operation Smile will undertake another milestone as it celebrates its 30th year: a special homecoming mission to the Philippines to give back to the country that gave birth to what is now a global children’s medical charity organization. Operation Smile aims to provide free life medical treatments to at least 6,000 Filipino children and young adults in 24 days, through 10 dental and cleft surgical mission sites in various parts of the country, such as Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Batangas and Cavite.

Children who must live with facial deformities live in the darkest corners of the world.  They suffer in seclusion.  Many children withdraw from school, and withdraw from the world.  A 45-minute operation can change a child’s life forever and restore their dignity.  A simple operation can open doors to a child’s future. This is where Operation Smile comes in.

Each year, tens of thousands of children need help. It is estimated that one in every 500 children born in the Philippines has a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. This is why Operation Smile continues to battle the growing backlog of children who suffer with correctable deformities.  The organization sets high goals year, stretching to the absolute extent of their capacity. They always seek like-minded humanitarians who generously support their spirit and their missions; it encourages private and public institutions to join its efforts to reach out to impoverished Filipino children through the local missions.

Operation Smile may not be able to fix the economic woes of the Philippines, but it can help reach out to affected children. To repair a child’s face is to rehabilitate not only their smile, but also their spirit.  To repair a child’s face is to give that child an opportunity to go to school, to eat a meal, to speak so others can understand.  Once the physical aspect of a deformity is treated, it allows for the emotional healing to begin.

For more information, call (632) 811-9737 or email [email protected].

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