Are you looking to make a difference in your school and beyond?
Operation Smile encourages students to establish student-run school clubs that are devoted to organizing and running fundraising, awareness, and service initiatives and activities in support of Operation Smile UAE (OSUAE).
Establishing an Operation Smile club is a fantastic way for students to get involved and make a positive impact in their school community as well as the wider community of the UAE.
Operation Smile School Clubs are dedicated to the four pillars of Operation Smile’s Student Programs: leadership, service, advocacy, and education. The students running the club should strive to cultivate active local and global citizens, volunteers, and leaders within their school community. These clubs hold a variety of events, meetings, and campaigns throughout the year which help raise awareness and funds for OSUAE. They plan and organize service projects, donation supply drives, and fundraising and awareness events throughout the year. School Clubs that are officially registered with Operation Smile UAE are supported by Operation Smile UAE’s Student Programs and are provided with access to resources, toolkits, and Operation Smile Donation Boxes to help the school club succeed.
Step-By-Step Guide to Establishing an Operation Smile Club in Your School
The first step is to join Operation Smile UAE’s student programs. This will give you the necessary knowledge and training to become an official Student Volunteer and then a Smile Ambassador. With this knowledge and understanding, you can be confident when pitching to your school about establishing a club to benefit Operation Smile UAE.
Once you have completed all the necessary training, the next step is to get approval from your school to establish a club. You will need to speak with the relevant staff member at your school and inform them of your intention. This could be the Principal, activities coordinator, CAS coordinator, or whichever individual is assigned to overseeing student activities at your school.
Once the school has heard your pitch, the next step is for your school to request permission from its assigned educational body (MOE / ADEK / KHDA / SPEA) for your proposed club to organize and run fundraising, awareness, and service initiatives and activities in support of Operation Smile UAE (OSUAE) for the academic year. Once your school has been granted permission, you will need to register your club with Operation Smile UAE.
Now you have been granted permission to run your Operation Smile club, you will need to form a committee of students who will help you run it. This should include individuals who are passionate about the organization and have the time to dedicate to helping you run the club. We recommend that your committee members also register with OSUAE’s student programs and complete the learning modules to achieve Student Volunteer and Ambassador status as well so that they are better equipped to explain to new students about the organization and cause your club is supporting. Make sure you assign tasks to team members so that workloads can be evenly distributed throughout the year.
*It is best to select committee members who are not in their last year of school, as they will become preoccupied with studying for final exams and planning for future educational opportunities or other endeavors as the school year progresses and therefore will not be able to dedicate as much time to running the club as they initially planned. For this same reason we do not encourage students in their last year of school to establish a new club.
At least one representative from your club’s committee must attend each of the monthly club leaders’ meetings. These meetings are held every second Thursday of the month at 5 pm and are intended to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and camaraderie between all Operation Smile school clubs in the UAE as well as provide a forum for sharing updates and requesting advice. This is also where the Student Programs Coordinator will explain any updates in laws, rules, and regulations that are relevant to charitable school clubs if and when this information needs to be distributed. Updates about Operation Smile UAE activities and opportunities will also be shared in these meetings.
Now it’s time to begin! You will need to create a clear vision and mission for the club that outlines what activities and initiatives you intend on running in support of OSUAE. Additionally, you will need to create a plan of action to ensure the goals and objectives of the club are met. This should include different activities you will be organizing, as well as how often they will take place. Some of these activities could include bake sales, fundraising campaigns, and information-sharing sessions. You can also look into partnering with other schools to create larger initiatives that have a greater impact. Make sure to involve all your committee members in the planning process and make sure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
Once you have planned out the activities for the year, it’s time to make them happen and promote them! Don’t forget to celebrate your club’s success by sharing information about your initiatives with other students and staff at the school, as well as with OSUAE. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and encourage others to be part of the cause.
Stay connected with other Operation Smile clubs in the UAE by attending meetings and events when possible, sharing updates on social media, and collaborating on initiatives. Additionally, remember to keep the Student Programs Coordinator for OSUAE updated on your progress throughout the year by sending reports of the activities your club has been undertaking.
- Are there any restrictions on what type of activities we can carry out as part of an Operation Smile school club?
Answer: Any activities undertaken must abide by the law of the country, and must adhere to Operation Smile’s Code of Conduct. Additionally, any activities should be within the school’s regulations and should not disrupt or interfere with normal student activities. Club members should always be sure to check with the school and the OSUAE Student Programs Coordinator before planning any events or activities. The Student Programs Coordinator will provide guidance and resources for club leaders to ensure that their activities are appropriate and within regulations. It is important to remember that all donations (money given, without exchange of good or service, to benifit Operation Smile) must be collected in an official Operation Smile donation box. Any funds raised through exchange of goods or service (eg bake sale or funfair activity) need to be properly accounted for and logged. The Student Programs Coordinator will provide guidance and materials for school clubs to ensure their fundraising efforts are appropriately recorded and funds correctly transferred to Operation Smile in accordance with charity regulation and trancparency requirments.
- How can we ensure our activities are sustainable in the long term?
Answer: It is important to have a solid plan in place. This plan should include an ongoing strategy for fundraising and service activities, recruitment and building members knowledge and participation as well as ways to measure success and progress over time. Club leaders should also have a plan in place for how to transition their club to the next generation of students before they leave school or enter into final school exams season. It is best to select committee members who are not in their last year of school, as they will become preoccupied with studying for final exams and planning for future educational opportunities or other endeavors as the school year progresses and therefore will not be able to dedicate as much time to running the club as they initially planned. For this same reason we do not encourage students in their last year of school to establish a new club.
- What should I do if I have any questions or concerns about running an Operation Smile school club?
Answer: If you have any questions or concerns about running an Operation Smile school club, you can contact the Student Programs Coordinator for OSUAE via email (stud[email protected]) or telephone (+971 2 6584790).
- What types of information should be included when submitting reports to the student programs coordinator for OSUAE about activities undertaken by the club?
Answer: When submitting reports to the student programs coordinator for OSUAE about activities undertaken by the club, it is important to include an account of each event or activity. This should include the date and time of any meetings or events, as well as an explanation of what was discussed or achieved. It is also helpful to provide images or videos if available. Additionally, it is important to include an account of the financial and material resources used, and any plans for future activities or events.
- Does OSUAE provide any support or resources for running a successful Operation Smile school club?
Answer: Yes, OSUAE provides a variety of support and resources to help make your Operation Smile school club a success. The Student Programs Coordinator for OSUAE is available to provide guidance and advice throughout the process of setting up the club and running activities. A school club starter kit can be provided once a 500aed deposit has been paid. This kit includes roll-up banners, leaflets, posters, a folder with information, guides and forms as well as an Operation Smile donation box, cash till and kit storage container. At the close of the academic year, OSUAE will reimburse this deposit once the complete and undamaged starter kit has been returned to the OSUAE office.
- How can I ensure that tasks are distributed evenly among all members of my club's committee?
Answer: In order to ensure that tasks are distributed evenly among all members of your club’s committee, it is important to create an organized and detailed plan that outlines each member’s responsibilities. Initially, you can assign tasks based on individual interests and skills as well as the resources available, then develop a timeline for completing the activities. Additionally, involve all members in making decisions and delegating tasks so that no one person is overwhelmed. Regular meetings can also help to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the club’s goals.
- What are the most important elements to consider when creating a vision and mission for my Operation Smile school club?
Answer: When creating a vision and mission for an Operation Smile School Club, there are several important elements to consider. First, it is essential to ensure the goals and objectives of the club are realistic and allow for growth over time. It should also provide a clear overview of why the club is being started, how it will benefit its members and the school community, and how it will be sustained in the long term. Finally, the vision and mission should reflect Operation Smile’s student programs pillars of leadership, advocacy, education, and service.
- Are there any requirements for becoming a Student Volunteer or Ambassador of OSUAE?
Answer: Yes, to become a Student Volunteer or Ambassador of OSUAE you must be at least 13 years old and have completed the related education modules available on the dedicated platform for OSUAE’s student programs.
- How often should meetings be held with the student programs coordinator of OSUAE?
Answer: As long as at least one committee member attends the monthly club leaders’ meetings, that is sufficient. Additional meetings can be arranged with the OSUAE student programs coordinator if desired.
- What events can I organize for my Operation Smile school club?
Answer: Your Operation Smile school club could organize various events such as bake sales, fun fairs, dress-down days, presentations during assemblies, service projects requested by OSUAE, and much more. These events and activities should be organized in coordination with the school’s leadership and administration. If you are planning on organizing a service or collection drive, make sure to check with OSUAE first to see if they will be able to accept the resulting items.
- How do I get permission to run an Operation Smile School Club?
Answer: In order to get permission to run an Operation Smile School Club, you will need to approach your school’s leadership or administration and submit a formal proposal outlining the objectives and goals of the club as well as how you plan to establish it.
- Are there any rules or regulations that must be followed when setting up and running an Operation Smile school club?
Answer: Yes, there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed when setting up and running an Operation Smile school club. It is important to ensure that all activities abide by the law of the country. It is essential to adhere to Operation Smile’s Code of Conduct. Additionally, any activities should be within the school’s rules and regulations.
Students running the club should consult with their school and the OSUAE Student Programs Coordinator on their plans to ensure that they are within these criteria. Further guidance and information is provided to students in the tools and resourses that are made available to them as well as during the monthly club leaders meetings.