New developments on the use of Operation Smile® trademark impacted the ability of many Operation Smile-linked charities to act independently. To stay focused on our charitable work and to keep away from any legal wrangles, we decided to discontinue use of Operation Smile® in our names.
We decided that each country charity should have their own unique names to accentuate individuality. We also learnt that the traditional multi-country aid delivery model needed change. It required to be more collaborative where each independent charity’s strengths are recognized, contributions valued and local country regulations respected. It was essential to form a partnership of equals with an open-source model of knowledge depository.
FORMATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE
For effective delivery of our programmes, we needed a common platform for our international volunteer credentialing and participation. We also needed standardized medical policies and protocols.
So, we initiated the formation of Smile Asia®.
Smile Asia® is a global alliance of independent charities working together. These charities deliver free surgical care for children with facial deformities through medical missions and outreach centres. We aim to raise standards of medical care by creating opportunities of collaborative learning and exchange of best practices.
Smile Asia® now has presence across 19 countries. The member charities have collectively delivered over 60,000 surgeries till date.
Smile Asia® has programmatic activities in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Uzbekistan. We also have resource-generation activities in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and United States.