After three decades since its first medical mission, Operation Smile comes back to the Philippines to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Operation Smile is an organization founded by American couple Bill and Kathy Magee in the Philippines in 1982. It’s a children’s medical charity that provides surgery and related health care to indigent children and young adults afflicted with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other childhood facial deformities.
Dubbed as “The Journey Home,” Operation Smile’s anniversary celebration will include 10 missions in nine different sites across the country for three weeks. This will be joined by a thousand volunteers from 30 countries.
The volunteers will include Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup and Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2012 Janine Mari Tugonon.
Both ladies have been active volunteers of the organization since they joined the prestigious beauty pageant in the country.
Although she already passed her Binibining Pilipinas crown to Janine, Shamcey continues to support Operation Smile.
“It’s close to my heart already. Kumbaga, kahit noong nasa Miss Universe pa ako, parang iba na ‘yong impact,” said Shamcey in an interview after the press conference for the announcement of Operation Smile’s 30th anniversary at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City last week.
Shamcey is doubly happy to participate in this year’s celebration because Operation Smile will pay a visit near her hometown, General Santos City.
“It’s close to my hometown, so sabi ko, why not. I’d be able to help din in their mission. Masayang puntahan din ‘yong mission doon this November,” she said.
Meanwhile, Janine is equally excited over the planned missions around the Philippines because she’ll be able to help during the surgical operations.
The B.S. Pharmacy graduate related, “I’m really looking forward to assist doon sa operation mismo since I’m on the medical side. Gusto ko talaga ‘yong ganun.
“Actually, noong candidates pa lang, gusto ko na talagang mag-assist, kaso we were given little time, so hindi rin kami puwede mag-assist that time.
“This time I really want to assist and see how it goes.”
The schedule of “The Journey Home” medical missions is as follows:
October 26 to 31: South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, Koronadal.
November 8 to 18: (simultaneously) Bicol Medical Center, Naga City; Mother Theresa of Calcutta Medical Center, San Fernando, Pampanga; Teresita Jalandoni Memorial Provincial Hospital, Silay City, Negros Occidental; and Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Cagayan de Oro City.
November 22 to December 2: (simultaneously) Sta. Ana Hospital, Sta. Ana, Manila; De La Salle University Medical Center, Dasmariñas, Cavite; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City; and SOCSARGEN County Hospital, General Santos City.
For more information about Operation Smile’s “The Journey Home,” send email to its office via firstname.lastname@example.org.