May 24, 2017

Partnerships that Make Changes

 Dear Mending Faces Partners,

Over the past six years, I have watched Mending Faces develop into a cooperative, fine-tuned and highly-skilled medical mission organization. I am proud to be part of this international organization, which remains steadfast in its commitment to change the lives of children in developing-world countries.

This year, we started with our annual mission in Lucena, Philippines as Asia was celebrating the Chinese New Year by ushering in the year of the Rooster, known as the “fowl with 5 virtues,” one of those virtues being benevolence.  How appropriate! Thanks to the benevolent partnerships with organizations such as SCL Health, DaVita, and Medtronic, we are able to make a change in many children’s lives.

Our biggest source of partnership continues to be our relationship with the individual donor. Your efforts ensured we had enough funding to make this year’s mission a success. Every dollar counts! A huge “thank you” goes out to each and every one of our donors whose partnership helps Mending Faces make a change in the world.

Benevolence and partnership don’t always come in the form of monetary contribution. Each year, our volunteers donate their time and expertise. We owe a special thanks to the Philippines philanthropic organization, UGAT.  They helped us with the needed connections and support from local government and hospital staff. We also focused on creating sustainability in our mission by working side-by-side with local nurses and surgeons, creating opportunities for the local health community to benefit once we left.

We are now organizing our next medical mission for January 2018 in the Philippines in addition to planning a medical mission with Drawing Alegria in Columbia this fall.  New challenges await us as we look to branch out to other developing countries and remain committed to finding patients in remote and underserved areas. Our work is never finished -- the pediatric patient population replenishes itself as more children are born with cleft lip and palate deformities every year. Additionally, in 2018, we have decided to open up our patient population in the Philippines to include children with hand burn scars. Families in remote villages cook with open fires and use kerosene lamps; thus, accidents with fire occur. Our skilled surgeons can improve the quality of life for children with burn scars by giving them better use of their hands.

As we move forward in 2017 and beyond, I am proud of what Mending Faces accomplished on the last mission and I am excited about the future. Our community is strong and vibrant, and together we will continue our efforts to change lives -- one child at a time. 

With Gratitude,

Mimi Wong, M.D.

Board Chair, Founding Member, Mending Faces