Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jackie, Vietnam and Operation Smile

So Jackie will be re-visiting Viet Nam in November with Operation Smile.

Celebrating 20 years of making children smile

"20 Years of Smiles - A Journey of Miracles” will be celebrated next month with free surgeries and treatment for 2,000 children with facial deformities across the country.

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Operation Smile Vietnam, the event will bring bout 300 international medical volunteers from America and different countries around the world, the Regional Development Director of Operation Smile Asia Pacific, Nguyen Viet Phuong, told Thanh Nien Weekly.

These volunteers will work alongside hundreds of Vietnamese counterparts to deliver free life changing surgeries for 1,000 children and youth born with facial deformities and provide another 1,000 with burn, cranio facial and dental treatments in 15 mission sites across the country from November 7 to 13, Phuong said.

The budget for the whole special journey to Vietnam is expected to reach US$2 million, which is being raised both locally and internationally, said Phuong.

“It is our wish and dream to be able to treat every single child born with facial deformities, but unfortunately, we often see 2 out of 3 children coming to the mission site having to go home without surgery due to the lack of time, funding and related medical equipment”, said Phuong.

As part of the celebration, a special Gala dinner will be held in Hanoi on November 4, with the attendance of government officials, ministries, Vietnamese and international celebrities from the arts, sports and business communities.

A special performance on the evening will be provided by famous movie star Jackie Chan, who is an ambassador of the organization.

All proceeds from the dinner will be used to fund the surgeries and medical treatment, Phuong said.

A whole day of festivities culminating in a big “Thank You” concert will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 14 that more than 3,000 people are expected to attend.

The “20 Years of Smiles - A Journey of Miracles” event is being supported by the Vietnamese government, the Ministry of Health and the US Embassy.

Operation Smile Vietnam (OSV), the local branch of US-based Operation Smile Inc., has been able to provide free cleft lip and palate surgeries and medical services for more than 30,000 children and youth over the last 20 years, said Kenneth Atkinson, chairperson of OSV Board of Sponsors.

More information about the program can be obtained by contacting Operation Smile Vietnam at (84) (04) 3 936 5426, 3 920 7356, or

Reported by Van Khoa



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