Over the course of this year we Year 12s have been divided into committees and tasked with the challenge to manage a community service project from start to finish. The final instalments in our series of reports belongs to the Operation Smile Committees 1 and 2 who worked with Operation Smile.
Operation Smile Committee 1:
Operation Smile, founded by Dr. William P. Magee Jr. Operation is a non-profit as well as non-governmental, based in Virgina, aiming to provide free surgery for children with facial deformities. There are over eight-hundred student associations world-wide in more than sixty participating in fundraisers to raise money for said surgeries. Our project was associated with the Vietnam branch of Operation Smile. Since its founding, Operation Smile has performed over two hundred-thousand children, with twenty-six average annual operations taking place in Vietnam. eighty-five percent of said surgeries were largely performed by Vietnamese surgeons.
Our project awareness aimed to inform the students about Operation Smile and the children with cleft lips, palates, who are in need of surgery to remove these facial deformities. Our project funding aim was to raise beyond 250 USD, which is the average amount of money for a child to have an operation. This includes medical evaluation, the surgery, post-surgery care, and speech therapy sessions. We are planned to produce sell cookies. To raise awareness, we planned to create posters to inform the students in the school about Operation Smile. We encouraged students support the campaign on the issues surrounding Operation Smile through social media and posters. We aimed to use a survey to assess the success of our campaign.
On the day of our campaign we put posters around school, showed videos, sold wristbands and soft drinks, and lastly organised a sponge and waterballoon throwing activity during lunch. We managed to raise around 4,000,000 VND. We were not able to convince the PTG to support our proposal so we were particularly happy with the amount we achieved considering we had to absorb the costs within our raised funds.
Through this project, we learnt to work along with each other in order to complete tasks as well as overcoming difficulties. We developed our team-building skills. We also developed our design and decorating skills where we used to create posters, allowing us to attract interest. We developed marketing skills and while we were selling cookies, we developed our social confidence through interacting with students and informing them about Operation Smile. Next time though we feel that we should exploit social networks and media more to spread the awareness of Operation smile and provide a wider understanding of what the organisation does.
:) Share a smile.
By Hoang Bui
Operation Smile Committee 2:
Operation Smile is an international Non-Profit organisation which aims to help children with cleft palates or lips by providing these unfortunate children free surgeries and training the doctors in local areas for long term benefits. The children with cleft lips or palates not only suffer from physical pain and malnutrition, but also suffer from extreme social discrimination even within their own communities.
Our group’s main aims were to raise awareness within the school community about these children and raise funds to financially support these children within Vietnam. With the generous donation from the PTG, we were able to successfully carry out the campaign during the Year 12 Community Project Week (24th – 28th of November). In total, we raised more than 13 million VND which will be sent directly to the Operation Smile Vietnam to be used to carry out surgeries for the children.
During the campaign, we organised activities such as water balloon throwing to the teachers and students, wristband sale, soft drink sale and message board for the children with cleft palates and lips. The students were all very supportive and that enabled us to successfully complete our project.
This community project was not just beneficial to the Operation Smile and the children with facial deformities. It was also to a large extent beneficial for the members or the group. From this, we were able to reflect on ourselves. We learnt our strengths and weaknesses and we were able to develop new skills throughout this challenge.
Lastly, we would like to emphasise the fact that the children with facial deformities are still left untreated around the world. So, if possible, in the future, please support Operation Smile.
Share Your Smile
By Operation Smile 2 (Tina Kim, JK Kazzi, Paul Choi, David Kim, Soomin Jeong, Holly Ledger)
Together the two Operation Smile Committees raised 17,333,000vnd and learnt a great deal in the journey to meet the aims and objectives of enthusiastically planned programmes of awareness across the school and wider community. If you would like to know more on how YOU can get involved visit the operation smile website.