Sunday, July 5, 2020
Home Positive Living Builders of Hope: Operation Smile

Builders of Hope: Operation Smile

More than 35 years ago, Dr. Bill Magee and his wife Kathy traveled to Naga, Camarines Sur to perform operations on children who had cleft lips and cleft palates. Expecting to handle only a handful of cases, the couple was surprised as they were greeted by nearly 300 families pleading for aid. The experience was what inspired Bill to begin Operation Smile, a global non-profit organization that provides free surgeries to children with clefts.

Builders of Hope: Operation Smile - image 2-1024x683 on
(Photo by Jörgen Hildebrandt)

It’s clear that the initial benefit of a cleft surgery is a new smile and improved nutrition and speech. For the long-term, however, it is social benefit that makes a lasting impact. This is what Operation Smile aims for as the organization frees children from self-doubt and bullying. Christine Lu, the Program Director for Operation Smile Philippines, expounds on this by saying, “Through our surgical missions, we aim to heal every child of social and physical burdens, while maintaining the highest quality clinical care… By offering more than just surgery, (we also offer speech therapy, dental services, and post-operative care) we are able to provide holistic treatment to our beneficiaries.”

Smiles for Miles

Builders of Hope: Operation Smile - image 1-200x300 on
Ruby Poblacion after surgery. Photo taken in Bacolod-Silay, Philippines, August 2013. (Photo by Peter Stuckings)

Operation Smile has a network of thousands of medical and non-medical volunteers from more than 80 countries who generously donate their time, knowledge, and skills to change lives not just of children with clefts, but also of these children’s loved ones. Dr. Angel Macatangay, a volunteer anesthesiologist in a medical mission in Batangas last year reveals, “The best moment for me in the mission is immediately after surgery at the Recovery Room when I give a newly-operated child back to a parent, it’s like I’m giving them a better chance at life.”


This article is from the ‘Builders of Hope’ section of the April 2018 issue of My Pope Philippines magazine. Words by Monica B. Savellano. Edited for web by Aizel Dolom.
Subscribe now to My Pope Philippines for your daily dose of inspirational stories!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Recent

Here’s What to Expect in This Year’s Peñafrancia Festival

The traditional Peñafrancia Festival for this year will be toned down as the Archdiocese of Caceres complies with the public safety guidelines...

3 Ways to Use Pancake Mix for Breakfast Twists

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Many say this and stick to it for most of their lives because it does...

3 Online Concerts to Look Forward This Month of July

With the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the world, several of our favorite artists such as Dua Lipa, Lady...

Contemporary Prayers at Every Sunday Mass

The Millennium Prayer God of love and mercy, You call us to be Your people, You gift us with Your abundant grace. Make us a...


- Advertisment -