Once in Your Life, Everybody Should Volunteer with Operation Smile

March 20, 2014 by | Filed Under: All Things Khiri, Responsible Tourism

Six staff from our Khiri Travel Thailand team drove off from the office on a Sunday morning in February. They were headed for Surin to join Operation Smile Thailand’s mission in providing surgery to children with cleft lip or cleft palate. Here’s the story by Tik, Un, Jane, and Luck.

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After our brainstorming in the office several weeks after the mission, we would say that it’s a good chance to be a volunteer for Operation Smile at Surin Province. It was a good time for us.

We took around 6 hours from the office in Nonthaburi to Surin province. We traveled by our Khiri van on Sunday 16 February 2014. After we arrived at the hotel we met Operation Smile’s team who took care of us and briefed how we had to work on Monday’s screening day and the chance to observe a surgery on Tuesday.

operation smile

On screening day, we were separated over two teams. There was the interviewer team and a traffic control team.

Jane & Un: We were responsible for completing the medical record (interviewer). Our task was to talk with all the patients and make a record for the screening. There were lots of patient on that day, but unfortunately not everyone could get the operation. We’ve had many experience from this day.

Operation Smile mission, 17-20 February 2014, in Surin, Thailand.

Luck & Tik: we had never been a volunteer at a hospital. In our mind we hate the hospital, but after we have been there and were a volunteer, we really wanted to help the children and we would like them growing up without illness and weakness point.

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When the patients called us “doctor” (of course we are not a doctor), we know that they call us like this because they believe in us and we can help them. It’s a special feeling and a proud feeling to help them and we would like to give them all that we can.

We believe that giving is bigger than to receive. Sometimes, we helped in the station of taking a photo of a patient for the research and medical record. And also to guide and make sure all patients were screened at every station.

operation smile

The next day was about observing a surgery. We felt excited very much. We thought if we are not a doctor or nurse or patient we will not have a chance to go in a surgery room. It’s the best chance to go to a surgery room. We had to dress up like a doctor going in the real surgery room. There was a lot of equipment, blood, echo and pressure of the heart, it made us feel so excited! It’s kind of a very good opportunity for all of us for being a part of this project.

One time in your life, everybody should be going to be a volunteer with Operation Smile.

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operation smile