Our Charity – Operation Restore Hope
25 Years and Over 3,000 children treated!
Operation Restore Hope Australia was founded by Sydney Plastic Surgeon, Dr Darryl Hodgkinson in 1993 to help less fortunate children in the Philippines with birth defects and deformities especially cleft lip and palate. Since it held its first charitable mission in 1994, the charity has operated on more than 3,000 children and provided other medical services such as paediatric care, dentistry, orthodontia and speech pathology.
The goal of Operation Restore Hope Australia, in conjunction with our Filipino partners is that no child in the communities in which the charity operates should have to go to school without their lip and palate repaired so that they can have the basic dignity and opportunities offered to other children.
What is different about Operation Restore Hope?
What makes Operation Restore Hope different to many other fly in and fly out surgical charities is its involvement at a community level and collaboration with the allied medical professionals in the Philippines. Not only do we draw on the community health, birthing and immunisation centres to help to identify patients and educate parents, but we hold patient screening and follow-up clinics for children in our programs throughout the year. These clinics help to identify the needs of the children we are caring for be it general health, dental, speech pathology etc. These clinics are coordinated and run by our partner Filipino plastic surgeons. Over the past 25 years Dr Hodgkinson has maintained a positive relationship with and has engendered the local Filipino plastic surgeons and the charity is therefore able to benefit from their support and commitment. In fact, Dr Hodgkinson was proud to be a special guest at the 50th anniversary at PAPRAS (Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons).
Another way that Operation Restore Hope supports a community is providing much needed medical equipment and supplies and improving the overall infrastructure where needed to allow the hospital and health care facilities to better service children in our programs as well as the community at large throughout the year.
Dealing with Extreme Craniofacial Deformities
Early on, Operation Restore Hope used to agonise over what to do about patients who presented at screening with extreme craniofacial deformities that could not be safely operated on in a mission environment. It was heart-breaking to our volunteers that the children who needed us the most were the ones that we had to turn away. It was from this that we realised that we had to form a collaboration with a top craniofacial plastic surgeon and surgery unit in the Philippines. Over the last ten years Operation Restore Hope in collaboration with the Mijares Gurango Craniofacial Foundation working at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center operated on complex cases such as full facial clefts, naso-frontal encephaloceles, babies with Crouzon’s and Oro-mandibular hypogenesis syndrome and more. In fact, we have in cooperation with the orthodontists been able to establish a NAM (Nasoalveolar Moulding) Program for babies born with very wide clefts which uses an orthodontic device to get the lip and palate into a more normal position before surgery to allow for a more successful functional and aesthetic outcome.
Dollars and Sense
Operation Restore Hope is supported by private donations only. No funds come from the government. No funds are spent on administration, all funds go directly towards the children’s surgery. All surgeons, anaesthetists, dentists, nurses, administrators, accountants etc. are volunteers. Many of these volunteers have been volunteering their time and expertise for years and a few since the charity’s humble beginnings. Without the help of volunteers none of this would be possible. Fundraising and membership are essential to continue this vital work. Please consider a contribution to Operation Restore Hope and give a child the chance to go to school whole with a normal face and the potential to achieve like other children. These children deserve and can have a brighter tomorrow.
The average cost to Operation Restore Hope to repair a cleft lip or palate depending on the complexity and the facility is approximately $500 AUD per operation. The more donations we receive, the more children we can help. Donations over $2.00 are fully tax deductible and are payable to “The Operation Restore Hope Philippines Relief Fund”. Or you can make an online donation by going to www.givenow.com.au/operationrestorehope
To find out more about Operation Restore Hope and to see how you can help, please go to the website: www.operationrestorehope.org or contact the charity as follows:
Operation Restore Hope Australia P.O. Box 1185, Double Bay NSW 1360 Australia