We envision a future where health and dignity are improved through safe surgery.
Through our expertise in treating cleft lip and cleft palate, we create solutions that deliver safe surgery to people where it’s needed most
Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of safe surgeries for those born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. With more than three decades of expertise, Operation Smile creates solutions that deliver free surgery to people where it’s needed most. As one of the largest medical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile has mobilized thousands of medical volunteers from a wide range of medical specialties from more than 80 countries. Operation Smile engages public-private partnerships to advance health care delivery, train local medical professionals to provide surgical care for patients in their communities, donate crucial medical equipment and supplies, and increase access to surgical care so that everyone living with cleft is treated.
Operation Smile UAE Foundation (OSUAE)
The UAE foundation was officially registered with the Ministry of Community Development in 2011 and is under the patronage of HH Sheikha Aljazia Bint Saif Al Nahyan, wife of HH Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
We have since recruited medical volunteers who have participated on medical missions around the world, organised fundraising and awareness events and campaigns, inspired the support of companies and individuals across the UAE and worked with schools and students to educate about cleft conditions and the spirit of volunteerism.
Operation Smile International Student Programs:
Operation Smile established its Student Programs in 1985 and has since cultivated more than 900 student clubs worldwide, with a network of more than 18,000 students from 44 countries, to build awareness, raise funds and educate others about core values of commitment, leadership and volunteerism.
Operation Smile Student Programs’ mission is to empower youth to create a global movement for positive change through our four pillars of philanthropy: Leadership, Education, Service and Advocacy.
Who is the Student Programs Fund for:
High School students aged 12-18 years and University students are experiencing a higher demand for Voluntary or community service experiences.
With the support and encouragement from the government, many schools across the UAE have adopted a required community service or volunteering component that students need to complete in order to graduate. The aim is to encourage a holistic learning experience, and an opportunity for students to apply theoretical material studied in the classroom in a real-world context which can be achieved through volunteering activities.
In addition to these new requirements from the school, students often find that Universities ask for evidence of voluntary or community service activity when they apply to attend their courses. Often a student’s involvement with such activities can provide the university with great insight into the character of the candidate and what they are passionate about.
As students start to enter the world of work, potential employers are keen to know about their voluntary and community service experiences and how those experiences relate to or in some cases may even have prepared them for the jobs they are now applying for.
As a result of this demand, Operation Smile UAE’s Student Programs receives a constant stream of requests from students to become volunteers and for the organisation to provide more opportunities for students to participate in.
Overview of current OSUAE Student Programs:
The Induction Workshop held once a month is designed to inform potential student volunteers about Operation Smile; teach them about cleft conditions and treatment as well as explain student programs and the charity’s expectations of student volunteers.
Although it is not mandatory, we highly encourage parents to attend the induction workshop with the student volunteer applicant as we believe this can lead to a better relationship and better understanding of volunteering for everyone. If the parent/s are supportive and understand what is expected, students are more likely to adhere to their volunteering commitment and less likely to let their team down.
Smile Ambassador Workshops:
The Smile Ambassador Workshop, held once a month, is a presentation and public speaking workshop designed to help our approved student volunteers build their confidence and accurate knowledge of Operation Smile in order to be able to speak to the general public and educate them about Operation Smile and our cause.
Operation Smile UAE provides a variety of age appropriate presentations from KG / Nursery level to Pre-Medical students at University. The presentations range in topic from educating students about Operation Smile and cleft conditions to explaining how to volunteer with the charity or establish a school club and organise fundraising and awareness campaigns in their school.
Other Workshops, presentations, meetings and activities:
Throughout the year, Operation Smile UAE organises a variety of presentations, workshops, meetings and activities relevant to our upcoming events & campaigns, International Student Programs’ Conferences & Workshops, as well as for skills development & team building.
Operation Smile UAE organised events and campaigns:
OSUAE organises at least one fundraising or awareness event or campaign involving our student volunteers every month.
Student clubs, with the approval of the relevant educational authority, focus on leadership, education, service, awareness and fundraising, contributing much-needed funds for surgical costs as educating their school and local communities about cleft conditions. Their efforts help to cultivate students into locally and globally minded citizens who will become our future leaders and humanitarians.
Statement of need:
OSUAE would like to further develop our local student programs and encourage our student volunteers to participate on an international level by attending various Conferences and Workshops organized by our International Student Programs team and eventually an International Medical Mission. However, for many of our students, the accumulated financial burden of participation fees and international transportation costs are big drains on families who are already saving for expenses associated with sending their children for further education.
We would like to develop a sponsored scholarship program in order to send a complete student team (2 High School Students, 1 Adult Chaperone & 1 University Student) per year to participate in trainings and conferences and ultimately attend an International Medical Mission
We believe that having students from within the UAE participate on an international level and attend the International Student Programs as well as an International Medical Mission will lead to a stronger and more committed student volunteer base in the UAE. These students will develop the skills and passion to take ownership of and lead the Operation Smile UAE Student Programs and be able to inspire and assist other students as well as the general public to support Operation Smile, which in turn will enable us to provide much needed surgeries and change the lives of even more children around the world.
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