Dr Imm and his daughter Amanda are heading out on a mission tour of Vietnam for 11 days. They are helping Operation Smile as volunteers. Dr Imm will be the leader of one of the dental vans heading out into rural Northern Vietnam to treat a goal of 1500 children during the time he is there. The children of this area receive little to no dental care.
Operation Smile founded in 1982 is a worldwide children’s medical charity that uses global volunteers to help improve the lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 120,000 children born with facial deformities and has sent missions to 51 countries. In addition to providing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves crucial medical equipment to lay the groundwork for long term self sufficiency. This is the 20th anniversary year for the Vietnamese missions. (www.operationsmile.org)
Operation Smile is working to change the world one smile at a time by building relationships and trust. Plastics surgeons repairing cleft lips etc, and our dental team are helping build a bridge that a war tore down. A thought: The difficulty is not in new ideas, but in truly leaving the old ones behind us. It is baggage I hope to lose on this trip.
We will chronicle this time as we venture into a world we know little about, however it is fast becoming the Singapore of Southeast Asia and leaving it’s former label as “another North Korea” behind. Building friends and future leaders will be important for all of us to understand the opportunities at hand. It is a mission of giving, learning and bridge building.