2015 Medical Mission

Each year, Mending Faces leads a one-week medical mission to the Philippines to provide free surgeries to children born with cleft lip and cleft palate. Medical team volunteers made up of healthcare professionals and outreach professionals donate their time and expertise as well as fund their travel expenses to provide these free surgeries.  There is no cost to the impoverished families of the children we treat.

This annual medical mission would not be possible without our partners in the Philippines, the U.S. and around the world including generous volunteers and donors.

Our most recent Medical Mission was Feb. 8-15 in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. In six days we treated 83 patients and conducted 87 total surgeries – both records for a Mending Faces mission. By the numbers that included 54 cleft lips and 33 cleft palates. That's $1,000,000 in services!

Before and After Photos of Our 2015 Patients


Volunteer/Associate Board Member, Jeremy Douglas, summed up Mission 2015 best:

"While it is hard to digest the happenings of this week and put the experience into words, first and foremost the volunteers are what made everything so exceptional. Regardless of race, religion or country of origin, everyone came together to do something truly inspiring for generations to come. We each played our separate parts well and when all of those efforts came together, the results spoke for themselves. Now an impoverished, but extraordinary group of children have reason and ability to smile and communicate without fear or limitation."


We recruit healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals in the following areas for each mission:

Healthcare Professionals

  • Surgeons (ENT, Oral-Maxillofacial, Plastic-Reconstructive)
  • Associate Surgeon
  • Anesthesiologist
  • CRNA
  • Dentist/Orthodontist
  • Pre Operative Nurse
  • Post Operative Anesthesia Care Unit
  • Intra Operative Nurse Circulator
  • Post Operative Ward Nurse
  • Surgical Assistant
  • Physician Assistant
  • Pediatrician/Family Practitioner
  • Speech Therapist

 Outreach Volunteers 

  • Medical Support
  • Social Media/Blog
  • Photographer/Video
  • Dental Education/Community Outreach
  • Administrative Support

Expectations of a Mending Faces Volunteer:     

1. Expertise in your specialty and the position you apply for
2. Service-minded with realistic expectations
3. Adaptable, flexible and resourceful under demanding and changing conditions
4. Culturally sensitive and a team player
5. In good health to travel and work in a developing country
6. Able to provide the funds to participate                                                                                       

Visit the Volunteer FAQ Page for more information on volunteering with us and on the Philippines.

If you are interested in volunteering for Mission 2016 please email: maya@mendingfaces.org

2014 Medical Mission

Our 2014 Medical Mission was a huge success. We provided free surgeries to 63 patients, performed 69 procedures including 24 Palates, 40 Lips, 1 combo Palate and Lip, and a few skin tag removals. Thank you to our volunteers and donors for making it all possible. Download our 2014 Medical Mission Report HERE

         Our 2014 Patients


Outreach is an important part of the medical mission, and makes up nearly 20 percent of the total team. Outreach volunteers serve many different purposes on the mission, and can be asked to do anything and everything but the surgery itself. Outreach mainly supports the mission through managing the families and patients that are the recipients of life-changing surgery, and includes a variety of activities and duties. Examples include:

  • help the nursing and surgical staff run supplies
  • distribute food and water to medical staff
  • manage families and patients during the initial screenings
  • provide comfort to patients and families during pre and post-op
  • scrubbing surgical instruments in the OR
  • go to the market to buy supplies
  • distribute go-home care packages
  • bring patients and their families home from the hospital

Community outreach projects involve dental education and clothing and toy distribution during visits to orphanages and schools. The Outreach volunteers have the unique opportunity to help in the hospital setting and also experience everyday life in the community.

Volunteer FAQ

Our 2016 Medical Mission is Feb. 7-12 in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. Applications open on July 1, 2015. Email maya@mendingfaces.org for more information.

There are many questions that can arise when going on a medical mission to the Philippines. We have provided you with some of the answers to the questions you might have below. And here is a 25 minute video on the Philippines: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=inAe6Wpn6ok

What part of the Philippines are the Missions?

Panay, located in the central Philippines. It consists of four provinces: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo.  Mending Faces currently visits San Jose in Antique, Kalibo in Aklan and Roxas City in Capiz. Our 2015 Mission is in Kalibo.

Is it safe to travel to the Philippines?

Just as in many of the major metropolitan areas in the United States and Europe, crime is a significant concern in Metro Manila. You should exercise good judgment and remain aware of your surroundings.

Visit the U.S. International Travel information for the Philippines for additional and updated information: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_999.html

What health concerns or risks are there in going to the Philippines?

Before visiting the Philippines, we recommend you visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/philippines.htm

How will our travel arrangements be made?

We will provide you with the final airport destination and airport code once you are selected to be a part of our medical mission volunteer team. You can book your own travel, use airline miles or book your travel through the recommended Mending Faces travel agent. If you are fund raising for your mission contributions, we will book your flight for you.

Who takes care of our lodging arrangements and what sort of lodging arrangements are there?

Mending Faces will take care of all the lodging arrangements during the dates of the medical mission. If you need to stay additional days, we can certainly help you and provide suggestions as needed. We usually book a nice room with two beds in it. There are options for a single room for an additional cost. All of this will be included in the welcome packet when you have been selected to join the medical mission volunteer team.  Mending Faces will arrange breakfast and lunch during the dates of the medical mission. Here is one example of our lodging: http://www.thesanantonioresort.com/

Do we need a Visa to go to the Philippines?

A Visa is not required, but proof of a return ticket will be necessary to enter the country.

How much cash should I have on hand?

We recommend that volunteer team members bring about $200USD.  The exchange rate averages around P42 pesos per U.S. dollar. Check out the most updated exchange rate at: http://fx-rate.net/PHP/. Airport taxes are required on entry and exit at the Manila airport. Recent tax to leave Manila was P750 pesos or about $15 U.S. You can exchange U.S. dollars for pesos prior to leaving the U.S. or when you arrive at the Manila airport. After arriving in the Philippines, you will likely need some cab or tricycle fare. Tricycle fare from the hotel to the hospital is typically P50 pesos. Typical tips are P50 pesos for bellboys or airport porters. If you don’t want to tip, carry your own luggage. Other items you may spend money on include dinners, souvenirs, and sight-seeing.

How much do things general cost in the Philippines?

Things are less expensive in the Philippines than in the U.S.  A nice dinner out could cost you $5 USD, coffee and donut might cost $1 USD.

What is our schedule like?

Our days start early and go until about dinner. We will have some dinners scheduled for the entire team and members of the local community.  Here is a general schedule of the week:

Saturday- Arrival Day

Sunday- Orientation & Screening

Monday- Screening & Surgery

Tuesday- Surgery & Outreach

Wednesday- Surgery & Outreach

Thursday- Surgery & Outreach

Friday- Surgery & Packing

Saturday- Travel Day Out

Can we travel after the medical mission?  Are there any suggested travel destinations we should know about?

Yes, you are welcome to travel after the medical mission.  Many volunteers go to Boracay: http://www.myboracayguide.com/menuoption/generalinfo.html. Other people spend time in Manila, travel to other parts of the Philippines or other parts of Asia.

If I am not traveling with the main team out of Denver where should I meet with them? 

There are several places along the flight route where you can meet up with the team. Once we have confirmed the flight itinerary we will make sure everyone gets the information, so you can plan to meet us at one of the several stops along the way.

What are my options for fundraising the money for my mission contributions?

There are several ways you can fundraise for your mission contributions. Several volunteers send out letters to family and friends asking for their support. We also have a great online tool where you can create your own fundraising page and direct folks there to donate as well.  If you are selected to the volunteer team, we will send this information in the welcome pack.

How long is the flight to the Philippines?

This depends where you are flying in from. From the U.S. it is generally a 24-hour travel day. There are several stops along the way and several layovers getting to where we need to go.

What airline does the team normally fly with?

We normally use Philippine Airline or United as they have direct flights from the U.S. to Manila.

Restoring Hope One Medical Mission At A Time:

Our 2016 Medical Mission is Feb. 7-12 in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. Applications open on July 1, 2015. Email maya@mendingfaces.org for more information.

Mission 2015: Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines

  • 83 Patients
  • 87 Procedures
  • 54 Cleft Lips
  • 33 Cleft Palates

Mission 2014: Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines

  • 63 Patients
  • 69 Procedures
  • 24 Palates; 40 Lips; 1 Combo Palate and Lip; 3 Misc. Procedures (Skin Tag Removal)

Mission 2013: Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines

  • 51 Patients 
  • 60 Procedures 
  • 19 Palates; 35 Lips; 3 Combo Palate and Lips

Mission 2012: San Jose, Antique, Philippines

  • 80 Patients
  • 90 Procedures
  • 22 Palates; 68 Lips

Mission 2011: Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines

  • 35 Patients
  • 58 Procedures