Have you ever considered the value of a smile? This priceless gift can brighten the day and bring joy to those around you.
For the fourth consecutive year, Standard Bank Group has helped give a gift of a smile in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by supporting Operation Smile, which provides free facial reconstructive surgery to children and adults.
This all started back in 2009 when Operation Smile South Africa (OSSA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government and Ministry of Health of the DRC to perform medical missions once every year at Clinique Ngaliema in Kinshasa.
On each medical mission in the DRC, around 50 medical volunteers from more than 11 different countries came together as a holistic team to change the lives of Congolese children and adults. During these missions OSSA also provides follow-up care (speech therapy and dental care) to patients that have been operated on.
Standard Bank Group provides financial and humanitarian support to the missions.
Our colleagues in the DRC volunteer to assist the medical team as translators and also work together with several non-governmental organizations to distribute food and drinks to patients and their families during the pre- and post-operative phases.
During the 2011 mission, 367 patients were screened, 171 patients received free surgery and 13 cleft palate patients received obturators.