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Stories You Make Possible

Stories You Make Possible

Explore Operation Smile stories from around the world highlighting the courage of patients and their families, the dedication of our volunteers and staff, and the generosity of supporters like you.

Leao smiles for the camera.

Leao's Odyssey

In Pucallpa, in eastern Peru, Gabriela reflected on what would await her in Lima with her son, Leao. They had just finished a five-day boat trip from Iquitos, and there was still another day by bus to the capital.
South Africa

A Stranger’s Kindness

Ephraim was filling gas tanks at work when the kindness of an unnamed gentleman changed his life.
Four-year-old Clarra and 8-year-old Vololoniana hug teddy bears in child life during an Operation Smile surgical program in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Operation Smile’s “Whole-Person Approach” with Priti Desai and Donna Trentel

The goal of psychosocial care extends far beyond ensuring a child is prepared for surgery. Forming a positive association with medical environments at a young age will have lasting effects on a child’s mental, emotional and physical development.
Brandon smiles while holding his before photo.

Fight for Happiness

"You have to fight so that your children can be happy." That's the advice Brandon's grandmother has for all mothers and fathers who have children born with cleft.
United States
Photo: Jasmin Shah.

Voices From the Front Line: Q&A with Dentist Dr. Dane Hoang

In celebration of Dental Hygiene Month, this pediatric dentist and longtime volunteer shares how she found the strength to continue caring for her patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan Zimmerman meets with patients.

Celebrating World Patient Safety Day

We’re proud to join with the World Health Organization (WHO) and members of the healthcare community in celebrating World Patient Safety Day on September 17. According to WHO, this commemorative day “calls for global solidarity and concerted action by all countries and international partners to improve patient safety.” 
Lucas, After

The Change in Lucas

Vivi watched as the doctor frowned and immediately understood that there was something wrong with her baby. She was in the middle of an ultrasound, and, when she was informed that her son would be born with a cleft condition, she wasn't entirely surprised.
Operation Smile at Women Deliver

Transforming Lives Through Equity: Operation Smile's Voice at Women Deliver

Operation Smile was thrilled to participate in the Women Deliver 2023 conference this July in Kigali, Rwanda, networking with thousands of advocates, innovators, agencies and organizations that influence the global agenda in healthcare.  
Students Smile at the Camera during ISLC 2023

‘I’m the key’: Lessons learned from our 2023 International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC)

Here’s a look at lessons learned from ISLC 2023 and how participants will make a difference for Operation Smile back home.

Make Your Gift


Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition. Your gift today will help transform lives and increase access to essential surgical care.