Operation Smile is an international charity which provides free surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Many of these children never reach their first birthday due to lack of nourishment because of the difficulties they incur in eating and drinking.
Others who survive, often lead miserable lives in a society where they are shunned and ridiculed. Few are given the opportunity to attend school and become educated. But a surgery lasting as little as 45 minutes and costing around 880 AED could change their lives forever.
Operation Smile UAE is a new foundation established at the beginning of the year under the patronage of a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. Its goals are to spread awareness, raise funds and recruit medical volunteers from around the UAE to participate on medical missions to provide the much needed free surgeries.
Operation Smile welcome the participation of students in schools and universities to help spread awareness and raise funds through the development of student clubs and programmes within their establishments. Already we have several universities and schools who are committed to helping change children’s lives. Through the clubs we also hope to build student leadership skills and encourage students to think of ways to help their community.
Every year Operation Smile organizes an International Student Leadership Conference. The 2011 conference was held in Beijing to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Operation Smile’s presence in China. Six students from the UAE participated and are now in the process of helping to organize a UAE student conference in November 2011.
Would it be possible for you to help us raise the profile of Operation Smile in the UAE by featuring us in some way on your website, Facebook page or any other form of medium you operate.