Student Volunteer: Tobias Rodrigues
School: International School Bangkok (ISB)
Being my second year in Operation Smile and my last year at ISB I tried to dedicate myself even more than last year. Apart from our weekly meetings where we discussed the clubs development and new projects, during ISB’s International Family Fair we sold snow cones and had dart games to raise money, I also decided to participate in this year’s Colour Miles for Smiles event as well. With 1.6 million baht raised, it was a spectacular event that required an incredible amount of organization. Although I personally didn't help with the organization (which was done extremely well by our club officers), I volunteered to throw colour, a vital part of the run. Even though it was hot and we got lost getting to our station on the day, being a part of the team and setting up together was fun with my friends. Despite challenges like the powder getting into our faces, the final colour blowout and the gratitude from everyone made it worth it. It was a good way to end my participation in Operation Smile at ISB. I feel that I’ve grown as a person as I have become more involved in charitable events, developed communication skills and became more appreciative of what I have. I want to thank everyone involved in Operation Smile and the fun times we've had.
For Operation Smile we had weekly meetings where we discussed the events and activities we would do to raise money for children with cleft lips. The activities we did included the monthly Panther Run, where participants would run a certain distance and donate; advocacy week, a week where we promoted our club through fun activities such as “what makes you smile”, and “tape your teachers to the wall”; and hosting booths during various school events. Each of these events had the primary purpose of raising money to help children with cleft lips have surgery. Through Operation Smile I was able to plan activities and take action. I had to organize with others, collaborate with them and share ideas. These issues are of global importance because children all around the world have cleft lips, and the work Operation Smile does is incredibly useful to help them heal.