Children born with cleft lip and cleft palate deal with a range of disadvantages, including difficulties in feeding and speaking. The emotional toll of feeling different from their peers can lead to social isolation, affecting their self-esteem and hindering their ability to build meaningful relationships and actively engage in social activities.
In line with the 12th medical mission of Operation Rainbow in the Philippines, the Kiwanis Club of Cebu organized its high-impact project dubbed as "Libreng Operasyon sa mga Bungi" in June 2023. For 42 years, Operation Rainbow, a non-profit organization based in Australia has performed more than 18,000 specialized plastic and orthopedic surgeries for children and adults worldwide, completely free of charge.
During its mission, a team of eleven Australian doctors volunteered for a week, conducting reconstructive surgeries for almost a hundred indigent children with cleft lip and cleft palate in the southern region of the country, who lacked the means to afford the necessary medical care.
The impact of this noble endeavor extended far beyond the operating room, filling the gaps in children's smiles and reaching the hearts of families and communities who had long yearned for a glimmer of hope. Through their expertise, they not only mended physical differences but also mended broken spirits.The compassion and empathy demonstrated by Operation Rainbow and the support of the Kiwanis Club of Cebu in the Southern Philippine District brought about a profound transformation in the lives of these children.