A day or two ago I wrote a column about Souk Jara. I omitted mentioning an encounter I want everyone to know about. I found a booth operated by Operation Smile Jordan. This group is part of an international alliance of chapters whose mission is to provide free treatment to children and adults who suffer from facial deformities.
Her Majesty, Queen Rania al Abdullah is the honorary Chairperson and Patroness of this program. For the past 10+ years, thanks to Operation Smile and the Ministry of Health children with cleft lips, cleft palates and burns have been treated by volunteer Jordanian and international medical professionals without charge to the patient. More than 1700 children have been helped by Operation Smile since 2004.
Her Majesty and Operation Smile Jordan inaugurated the Operation Smile Jordan Center in Amman in 2008. The center provides year-round care and consists of a medical evaluation and post-operative clinic, a speech therapy clinic and the Roma Downey Life Support Training Center that provides medical professionals with Paediatric advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) training.
I am very happy, but humbled to be a donor to this great cause. Please visit their website at http://www.operationsmile.jo/ and make a donation so they can continue helping unfortunate, poor children to have a more normal and fulfilling life!
Here are a few facts taken from the Operation Smile website at www.operationsmile.jo/ that are rather sobering. Please give them a visit and if possible make a donation to help a child to have a more normal, productive life. Thanks.
- Operation Smile Jordan is honored to operate under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the Honorary Chairperson.
- Approximately 1 in every 700 babies in Jordan is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate or other type of facial deformity.
- Children with facial deformities who do not receive reconstructive surgery often have difficulty breathing, drinking, eating and speaking. As a result, many suffer from malnutrition, medical and psychological problems.
- In as little as 45 minutes, one cleft lip surgery can change a child's life forever.
- It costs as little as JD450 to repair a cleft lip.
- Operation Smile Jordan is a registered NGO.
- Operation Smile Jordan has treated more than 1700 children since 2004.
- There are more than 200 Operation Smile Jordan Student Volunteers
- Operation Smile Jordan won the Outstanding International Student Club of the Year award during the International Student Leadership Conference in 2007.
- Operation Smile Jordan sends physicians to the annual Operation Smile Physicians' Training Program (PTP) - held at Operation Smile’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. PTP brings doctors from around the world together for training in their respective specialties.
- Since 1982, more than 115,000 children and young adults have been treated by thousands of Operation Smile volunteers worldwide and thousands of healthcare professionals have been trained globally.
- Operation Smile provides care for children in 51 countries. 9 resource countries raise funds and provide medical volunteers, while 42 program countries receive education and training and conduct surgeries.
- Operation Smile Jordan is a certified American Heart Association life support training center.
- Operation Smile Jordan’s Speech Pathology Clinic offers year-round speech therapy consultations by a team of certified speech pathologists.
*Disclaimer – I was not asked to write this post by anyone associated with Operation Smile Jordan, I have no financial or other connection with the group, nor have I received any compensation for it. I have written this column out of a sense of compassion for the children, admiration for the group who operate it and without consulting them about it at all. /obj