Volunteer Stories

The One Who Is Needed

The following story is first-person account of guest blogger Sean Robson, Operation Smile South Africa Communications Coordinator, as he and photographer Zute Lightfoot accompanied Operation Smile volunteer Funeka Cele on a five-day patient advocacy journey through the South African province of Eastern Cape.

Skyler's Story

Skyler has been part of her schools Operation Smile Club for the past three years - find out more about her experience...

Love Breaks Down Barriers

Bhomiemae Alolod Malaga was born on Bantayan Island and knows its people well. She and her husband, Kristian, run the small non-profit organisation Abounding in Love, which provides transportation, lodging, healthy food, medical check-ups and other prerequisites for impoverished cleft patients so they can receive free, safe surgeries provided by organisations like Operation Smile.

Discovering The Causes Of Cleft, Part 2

This story is the second of a two-part feature on the International Family Study.

Discovering The Causes Of Cleft, Part 1

This story is the first of a two-part feature on the International Family Study.

My Fundraising Story

"The first time I ever arrived at screening was the most moving day of my life. I felt overwhelmed with emotion. A wonderful and humbling experience that effects my everyday life".

One Among Thousands

One of the world’s most experienced cleft surgeons, Dr. Ghulam Qadir Fayyaz is renowned for his tireless execution of medical missions in his homeland of Pakistan, which have served tens of thousands of patients.

Closing The Gap: Q&A with Dr. Paulin Banguti, Rwandan Anesthesiologist

Anesthesia is as vital to a surgical procedure as any instrument wielded by the surgeon. As part of Operation Smile's Global Standards of Care, it’s a medical standard that enables the delivery of the safest surgery and is essential for successful medical outcomes. While this may seem like an obvious standard — if not the most important standard — it reflects a dramatic shortcoming that the Rwandan health care system faces.

Closing The Gap: Surgical Training Rotations in Rwanda

Drawing on a history of medical missions and surgical programs in Rwanda dating back to 2010, Operation Smile revitalized its relationship with the University of Rwanda to begin hosting new Surgical Training Rotations (STRs) in October 2015. The STRs aim to close the daunting gaps in the nation’s health care system related to cleft care and plastic surgery.

A Passion for Malagasy Smiles

True passion is a rare and precious thing. In the case of Andriarimalala Solo Radaoroson, his passion for Operation Smile’s work in Madagascar changed not only his life, but numerous other lives as well.

Dedicated to children's care

I was inspired by all of the volunteers who selflessly give their time, talents, skills and knowledge to give children born with cleft conditions their well deserved smiles.


“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President