New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

New Zealand volunteers restore hope to young Filipinos

Dozens of young Filipinos are having their lives changed this week, thanks to an international team of volunteers organised by a New Zealand charity.

For the ninth year running Operation Restore Hope New Zealand has sent a medical team to Manila, to operate on underprivileged children and young people whose lives are affected by cleft lips or palates.

Cleft lips and palates are deformities of the mouth cavity and face that affect children’s development, often leaving them ostracised from society, lacking in education and permanently disadvantaged.

Operation Restore Hope New Zealand brings teams of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, speech therapists and technicians to the Philippines, to perform life-changing corrective operations on affected children.  The teams are fully international, with New Zealanders and Australians joined by specialists from Operation Restore Hope’s sister organisation in Germany.

During this week’s medical mission in Caloocan in northern Manila, the international team members are teaching and developing the skills of the local medical staff working alongside them. 

This is an impressive effort.  All of the team volunteer their time, and many pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.  Much of the operating room equipment used by Operation Restore Hope in the Philippines is brought from New Zealand, and much of it has been donated by supporters.

This very worthy charity is looking for support from individuals, and from businesses that can donate money or goods such as medical equipment and supplies.

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