A Bergvliet High School pupil will be visiting Ghana as a non-medical volunteer with an organisation that makes free surgeries possible for those with facial deformities.
Grade 11 Jumana Logday says she is thrilled to have been chosen as one of two South Africans to go on the medical mission to Ghana from Sunday November 24 to Wednesday December 4.
Jumana is the chairperson of her school’s Operation Smile Club.
Operation Smile is an international non-profit organisation that provides free reconstructive surgery to children and young adults in developing countries.
The Operation Smile Club at Bergvliet High runs several initiatives to create awareness about cleft palate, and it donates money to Operation Smile.
Jumana, 17, has been part of the club since she was in Grade 8.
“I admired the noble work that was being done and did not hesitate to join this selfless cause.”
As chairperson of the club, she has run cupcake sales, bottle-cap drives and other fund-raisers to support the cause.
”The money we raise is donated to children who are in need of cleft palate and lip surgery. We were also granted the golden opportunity of having one of the patients, Baby Benedict, and his mother come talk to us about their journey and how Operation Smile has assisted them.”
Jumana and other volunteers will be based in the Koforidua region, where, among other things, they will meet the children who need surgery and give emotional support to their parents.
“The experience gained would not only be invaluable to me to pursue my studies in the medical field, but I also see this as the perfect opportunity to share my adventure and raise more awareness at my school and in the community,” says Jumana.
She thanked Fiona Earl, the head of the Operation Smile Club at the school as well as her sponsor and student coordinator, for making it possible for her to go on the trip.
She says she is looking forward to learning as much as possible from young and old, lending a helping hand wherever she could and making the most of the mission.
“Most of all, I cannot wait to share a smile with those kids! Thank you, Operation Smile, for continuously doing such great work. Ghana, I am ready for you!”
Since 2011, Operation Smile has run medical programmes across Ghana in cities including Accra, Cape Coast, Tamale, and Tema.
Operation Smile’s global volunteer network includes over a dozen medical professionals from Ghana who donate their time in Ghana and around the world.
Operation Smile has conducted seven medical missions in Ghana and treated more than 550 patients with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. For details on how to contribute to Operation Smile, visit www.operationsmile.org