Operation Smile Philippines gives relief to 1,800 families in Vismin

·2 min read

OPERATION Smile Philippines (OSP) has reached more than 1,800 families through its Oplan Smile, a series of concentrated calamity relief operations to aid the communities in Visayas and Mindanao affected by Typhoon Odette (Rai).

Oplan Smile managed to procure, pack and distribute relief kits to 1,830 families, together with Operation Smile Student Programs Philippines in Cebu, Dr. Lilian Arcinas and team in Palawan, HOPE Foundation in Bacolod, and OSP’s Davao team in Surigao.

Typhoon Odette made landfall on Dec. 16, 2021 in several provinces in the Visayas-Mindanao area. The weather disturbance was the strongest typhoon that hit the country last year, and left a trail of devastation and rendered several communities in Visayas and Mindanao in need of food, drinking water, and shelter.

Community relief efforts

In Cebu, different communities both from here and abroad handed out a total of 20 tons of water, three tons of ready-to-eat food and rice, a ton of first aid and Covid-19 prevention supplies.

Alongside the distribution of food, water and other relief goods, Oplan Smile initiatives in Palawan involved the participation of several government units to provide displaced communities with provisions for temporary shelters such as blankets, tarpaulins and mosquito nets.

The team also conducted free blood smearing for malaria detection among recipients.

Relief efforts in Bacolod immediately distributed grocery packs, hygiene kits and tarpaulins for temporary housing cover, while groceries, rice and drinking water were directly given to affected families in Surigao.

The delivery of relief goods from Manila to the Visayas and Mindanao proved to be a logistical challenge due to the archipelagic nature of the Philippines. Through a partnership with OSP, AirAsia went the extra mile to bring relief to affected communities.

Though OSP is mainly responsible for the packing, pickup and distribution of relief goods, AirAsia had a hand in the loading and unloading of goods as well as the chartering of mercy flights, which allowed for a seamless process that quickly and efficiently brought help to those in need.

As an international medical charity, Operation Smile works with healthcare providers, governments, and hospitals to improve the health and lives of children from more than 60 countries across the world.

“Operation Smile is committed to transforming the lives of children and families across the world,” said Emiliano Romano, executive director of OSP.

The executive director added they concentrated their efforts to deliver relief as soon as possible to help mitigate the devastation left. This was supported by generous contributions from trusted partners, both from here and abroad.

From this, OSP said Oplan Smile efforts will tirelessly continue alongside the foundation’s purpose of bringing more smiles to Filipinos across the country, guided by the values of civic unity and cooperation that strengthens the bayanihan spirit.

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