In March Operation Smile UAE answered the call from Operation Smile Malawi for urgently needed linens for their cleft and burns unit at a hospital in Malawi.
Marriott hotels in Abu Dhabi, who are long time OSUAE supporters, donated gently used sheets and towels, as well as a venue to sort the items.
Over four days more than 15 community and five student volunteers joined the Operation Smile UAE team to inspect, sew, and pack the linens. One room was set up as a sewing room, where volunteers (some of whom brought their own machines!) hemmed the sheets to the required size. In another room a team inspected, sorted and packed the items to ship to Malawi.
The sheets are already in use in Malawi.
We had so many sheets that we were also able to send a suitcase full back with Richmond, a medical volunteer from Operation Smile Ghana who attended our recent surgical mission in Abu Dhabi.
At the end of January, eight Operation Smile medical volunteers from the UAE and seven guest volunteers from Mubadala who sponsored the mission, joined other international and Egyptian volunteers at the Operation Smile Egypt surgical mission in Aswan, Egypt.
During the busy six day mission,143 patients were screened, with 78 receiving corrective surgery for their cleft condition.
OSUAE would like to thank the hardworking UAE medical volunteers who attended, as well as the team from Mubadala.
Mubadala’s recent MOU with OSUAE will ensure that two more international missions are funded this year, providing many more new smiles to children in need.
Watch the video to see how Operation Smile changed lives in Aswan, one smile at a time.
ABU DHABI, 19th January, 2023 (WAM) — Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), signed an agreement with Operation Smile UAE, to sponsor three international volunteering missions in 2023.
The first mission will take place at the end of January going to Egypt, where its employee volunteers will support children and adults as they undergo transformative procedures for cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial anomalies.
The agreement was signed by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and member of the board of OSUAE, and Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate and Human Capital Officer at Mubadala, in the presence of H.H. Sheikha Alyazia bint Saif Al Nahyan, Founder, Chair of the Board and Patron of Operation Smile UAE, and wife of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The partnership with Operation Smile UAE was established as a result of Mubadala employees’ eagerness to support international causes that support children, as well as the important work the charity executes for communities worldwide.
Sheikha Alyazia said, “Operation Smile UAE has grown and accomplished so much since 2011 and we are delighted that Mubadala has agreed to partner with us and share our vision of providing surgeries for all children with cleft conditions. By sponsoring three international missions Mubadala will help us reach children throughout the world who would otherwise not have access to safe surgical care and not only improve their lives but the lives of their families and communities. We continue to encourage others to support our cause and share our belief that every child deserves a smile.”
Al Shimmari said, “As a global and responsible investor, we proactively seek ways to engage and make a positive difference in the communities where we deploy capital. It is an honour for our employees, through our Employee Volunteering Program, to partner with Operation Smile UAE. In our fifth year of volunteering and as we continue to make a tangible positive lasting impact.”
A total of five volunteers from Mubadala ─ will support the mission across several areas including child-life area support, data collection and patient screening and applicants’ registration, they will be joined by six of our Operation Smile credentialed medical volunteers from Mubadala Health – a network of world-class healthcare providers. The volunteers include one surgeon, two anaesthetists, two nurses and a dentist. Mubadala’s Employee Volunteering Program is a purpose-driven engagement platform that provides meaningful opportunities for employees to contribute their time, skills and charity to the community. The Program was launched in 2018 with a focus on supporting the Special Olympic World Games and has continued to evolve, enabling the organisation to make a difference through volunteering activities in line with its responsible investment approach.
Appolonia World Group signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the non-profit organization Operation Smile UAE, as part of the ongoing commitment to providing health care to children residing in the UAE.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Yaser Haj Hamed, CEO and founding member of the Appolonia World, and Morag Cromey-Hawke, Executive Director of Operation Smile UAE.
The memorandum of understanding works to consolidate the partnership between “Operation Smile UAE ” and “Appolonia World Group” and unify the efforts made by both sides to serve the community and its members based on social responsibility, especially for children under eighteen, to provide the necessary health and treatment care, in addition to awareness campaigns and periodic educational programs for the community.
Ms. Morag, the Executive Director of Operation Smile – UAE, said: ” OSUAE is delighted to be able to collaborate with Appolonia World Group to provide more comprehensive care to our patients with cleft conditions in the UAE. Care does not stop with surgery and this partnership will allow us to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible for their dental and orthodontic needs pre and post-surgery. We are extremely grateful to Appolonia for their generous contribution and support. ”
In this regard, Dr. Yaser Haj Hamed, CEO and founding member of the Appolonia World, said: “This agreement crowns our solid partnership with Operation Smile UAE, and the close cooperation therein will have a strong imprint in our serious work towards children of all nationalities.” He added: “The goals of Appolonia World Group are based on reaching every child in the world, providing the best-integrated health care, and drawing a smile on all the children of the world. Our partnership with Operation Smile UAE will enable us to improve the health and lives of children in the UAE with cleft conditions.”
This memorandum is an extension of the activities of Appolonia World in all local, regional and international fields related to scientific studies, research, and strategic partnerships directed at volunteering and charitable services. Appolonia World Group is recognized as one of the most prominent specialized clinics for Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in the Middle East and has many branches in the UAE. And it is well known for its voluntary awareness programs for all children of all ages and campaigns for free screening and treatment.
Operation Smile is a global nonprofit specializing in expert cleft surgery and care. They provide medical expertise, research and care through their dedicated staff and medical and student volunteers around the world, working alongside local governments, nonprofits and health systems and supported by their generous donors. Since 1982, Operation Smile has been committed to providing patients with health that lasts through life-saving cleft surgeries and comprehensive care, helping them to better breathe, eat, speak and live lives of greater quality and confidence. Our training and education programs elevate safe surgical standards and strengthen a global network to reach more people earlier in their lives.
JOIN US FOR A GLOBAL CHARITY RIDE THAT COMBINES PASSION, DETERMINATION AND COMMUNITY TO CELEBRATE OPERATION SMILE’S FOUR DECADES OF TRANSFORMING CHILDREN’S LIVES AROUND THE WORLD THROUGH COMPREHENSIVE CLEFT CARE.
On Sunday November 6, Hudayriyat Island will host the UAE Operation Smile 40k Cycle Race in collaboration with Wolfi’s Bike Shop and Abu Dhabi Cycling Club.
The 40k Cycle Race will commence at 6:45am with a Junior Only Race of 10k to follow at 8am with a family ride along from 8:30am.
All Participants in the Cycle Race and Junior Race will receive a bespoke Cycle For Smiles Medal.
COVID-19 Protocols – To participate in this event we advise participants over 16 must be vaccinated or have the appropriate waiver. Your ALHOSN app must be showing ‘Green’ with a negative PCR test result having been undertaken within 30 days of event day.
Competitors under 16, who are or who are not fully vaccinated, need to show a green AlHosn.
Register here – https://gulfmultisport.inphota.com/en/event/cycle-for-smiles-40k-challenge/
40 KM Race – 105 AED
10 KM – Junior Race – 55 AED
10 KM – Family Ride (non competative) – 40 AED
3 KM – A Ride for the young children and young at heart to support Operation Smile UAE – 40 AED
Operation Smile UAE has had a long-lasting relationship with New York University, Abu Dhabi. Strengthening that bond, in the March 2022 mission at Burjeel Medical City, three NYUAD students came on board. They all came in with curious minds and compassionate hearts and left with a bag of memories and lifelong lessons.
Tatiana, majoring in Biology, joined the medical mission as a Medical Records Assistant. She had always been aware of Operation Smile through alumni and developed an interest in its work. The name was always familiar to her so when she saw an opening in the medical mission, she took that as a sign and went for it.
Faisal, majoring in Biology, helped out as a Patient Imaging Technician. He particularly related to Operation Smile’s work as he hasfamily members with cleft conditions. Since he attended high school in AbuDhabi, he was well-acquainted with the organization. When the opportunity to participate in a medical mission came by, he knew it was meant for him and applied right away.
Alex, majoring in Biology, also assisted as a Patient Imaging Technician. Unlike Tatiana and Faisal, Alex wasn’t really aware of Operation Smile’s work. He found out about it through a job posting and was drawn to the opportunity.
For all of them, the fact that they were able to get some experience in a medical setting but also have the aspect of helping people was perfect.
When asked about their experience at the medical mission, Tatiana mentioned how she always has had an ‘up down’ relationship with medicine.
She said, “When you get immersed into the technical aspect of medicine, you forget why you initially wanted to do medicine. So, this was wonderful as it reminded me of why I chose this as a career path for me.”
Tatiana particularly loved the collaborative environment and the fact that she was making an impact.
“I loved existing in such a dynamic environment where you’re not doing things just for the sake of doing it and you lose track of time,” she said.
The exposure of talking to doctors was an insightful one. She left feeling inspired and connected a lot of her moments back to her home country, Lebanon.
Faisal answered by saying, “Ilearned more in these past few days than I have in months.”
He got the opportunity to discuss a surgery which he found fascinating. Moreover, seeing the dramatic change in patients and parents made him realizethe sheer impact of Operation Smile.
“It really puts things in perspective,” he said, “We spend the entire week stressed about exams but things like this just make you realize that there are so many other beautiful things.”
He enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes work that goes in prepping patients for surgery. He loved the fact that Operation Smile UAE was so accepting and was filling in the gaps in the healthcare system.
Reminiscing about the mission, Tatiana realized that it doesn’t take a lot for people to make a change.
“It just takes a few people who have the skills and capabilities to say yes,” she further said, “Medicine is seen as such a lucrative job but just seeing doctors who want to do this because it’s a calling is inspiring.”
Faisal added to that by saying “People devoting themselves to helping other people is way more than just a profession. It becomes part of your identity.”
Alex answered, “We woke up at 5:40 am and came here and all the surgeries were done by 2 pm. Look at the number of things you can get done by waking up early. You literally changed the lives of 6 people.“
He further elaborated, “With the right objective and the right mindset and a little bit of investment, you can really make a difference.”
For Tatiana, she was particularly struck by how each and every person remembered each patient’s name.It’s a small detail but signifies a lot. “Just the fact that you follow these people so closely throughout their lifetimes is so fulfilling and so inspiring. This is the kind of medical professional and person I eventually want to be,”she said.
We certainly don’t know what the future holds but their ultimate goal is to get into medical school, set up an NGO-like Operation Smile, and make an impact through their work.
For anyone thinking about joining Operation Smile, here’s what Tatiana had to say:
“Go for it and don’t be afraid to ask questions! I think compassion is the most important thing and if you’re here then you’re the right person to be here.”
Just like every volunteer, this medical mission created a hugeimpact on them and has prepared them for the future.
Whether it was Tatiana’s infectious laugh or Faisal’s intriguing conversations, or Alex’s Korean talk with student volunteers, they all brought something special to the mission.