Operation Restore Hope is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-sectarian charity that surgically repairs cleft lips and palates for underpriviliged children in the Philippines. The charity was conceived by renowned Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Darryl Hodgkinson in 1992.
A cleft lip and/or palate is a separation of the parts or segments of the lip or roof of the mouth, which are usually joined together during the early weeks in the development of an unborn child. A cleft lip is a separation of the two sides of the lip and often includes the bones of the maxilla and/or the upper gum. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth and can vary in severity. A cleft palate occurs when the two sides of the palate do not fuse as the unborn baby develops.
Operation Restore Hope's purpose is to correct cleft lips and palates, facial disfigurement and other deformities for those who without the donation of services would remain untreated and permanently disadvantaged.
Our team is made up of many international volunteers. All of our volunteers donate their time to treat the Filipino children who have birth defects, especially cleft lips and palates, along with any scarring. Of course, because of the number of people we find in need we are not always limited to children or persons with such specific ailments.
We currently send a team to the Philippines each year. Health clinics throughout the year spread the word of our missions and promote the date and location of our screening day to the community, prospective patients and their parents.
Our missions typically last one week. Throughout the week we constantly teach and develop the skills of the local medical staff who work alongside us. Much of the operating room equipment we use during our time in the Philippines is brought with us from home and/or donated.
A letter of support from the NZ Ambassador
David Pine, the New Zealand Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines wrote to us in June 2007 about why he is so impressed with our work.
Download his letter here 71kb
We have missions in both Manila and Cebu.
We operate out of the President Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Medical Center in Caloocan, Manila. 37% of the population in Caloocan are living in poverty. This medical facility is one of the finest public hospitals in the Philippines and allows us to perform surgical operations in an environment not too dissimilar to what our surgeons and anaesthetists are accustomed to. Our missions here enable us to teach and develop skills amongst local surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and other medical specialists.