Leading online fashion retailer, ZALORA Philippines has chosen Operation Smile’s comprehensive treatment of children with cleft lip and cleft palate as one of the causes it will support in the Philippines through ZALORA Cares, a donation platform on the web and in various social media.
Operation Smile Philippines (OSP) joins a select group of only 11 local non-profits that can tap ZALORA Philippines customers to raise funds for their charity work.
Over the past 40 years, OSP has treated more than 30,000 Filipino children and young adults with oral cleft, providing them with free surgery, medical examination, dental treatment, and speech therapy.
“This is a breakthrough partnership for us,” OSP executive director, Emiliano Romano said, citing the foundation’s new thrust to broaden its donor base by engaging individuals via digital marketing.
OSP trustee Rizalina Mantaring, past president and CEO Sun Life of Canada Philippines, connected OSP to ZALORA Philippines.
ZALORA Philippines is the second digital business to tie-up with OSP after PayMaya, a payment gateway.
“We know there’s a lot of pent-up desire to help among ordinary Filipinos even in these extraordinary times, and our cause is one that is sure to tug at their hearts; it’s just a matter of providing them with the convenient and secure means to do so — and that’s ZALORA Cares,” he added.
ZALORA Philippines is part of the Singapore-based lifestyle e-retailer, ZALORA group, which has strong presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
The group launched its community engagement initiative in 2020 to support Covid-19 efforts in the region. “We’ve decided to expand beyond the initial mission and start giving back to our community in as much ways as we can by diversifying our pool of foundations,” Ms. Jaurigue said.
Operation Smile Philippines Foundation (OSP) is partnering with JCI Manila (JCIM) to undertake a Manila-wide campaign to raise funds for the treatment of indigent Manileno children with cleft lip and cleft palate, and awareness on the causes and ways to prevent cleft births.
Oral cleft severely affects the physical, mental, and psychological development and well-being of the afflicted children. The disfigurement makes them prone to malnutrition and stunting, impairs their speech and hearing, and opens them to bullying and isolation, which could eventually destroy their self-esteem.
The Institute of Human Genetics of UP Manila has said in a previous study that two in every 1,000 Filipinos are born every year with this highly debilitating congenital deformity. Manila was found by another study to have the highest incidence of cleft births among the country’s cities and municipalities.
The two pioneering organizations signed a memorandum of agreement recently with JCI Manila committing to implement an extensive oral cleft education drive online and through traditional mass media channels and raising funds from its members and business and civil society network, and OSP handling the treatment.
OSP operates a cleft center at the Manila City-owned Sta. Ana Hospital that provides comprehensive care to the afflicted covering free medical examination, dental treatment, reconstructive surgery, and speech-language therapy.
It is also running a pilot nutrition feeding and education program in the city for children with oral cleft and their parents in partnership with Caritas Manila and Security Bank Corp.
OSP is part of the global Operation Smile, Inc. which pioneered organized cleft care in the Philippines in 1982. JCIM, founded in 1947, is the first Jaycees club in the country and one of the most active civic organizations today supporting various humanitarian causes.
Camp Olivas, San Fernando City, Pampanga – The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) and Operation Smile Philippines (OSP) inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) recently for the former to locate children with cleft palate and cleft lip and refer them to the latter for free medical evaluation and treatment of those deemed fit for reconstructive surgery.
The agreement will cover all seven provinces of Region III namely, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
PRO3 Regional Director, P/BGen. Valeriano T. D Leon, and OSP Executive Director, Emiliano Romano, signed the MOA at Camp Olivas’ Makatao Activity Center.
Oral cleft is one of the most common congenital birth defects in the Philippines, which, if left untreated, expose the afflicted to rejection, bullying and a host of medical and dental conditions.
“We are happy to become an instrument of hope for those children and their families,” P/BGen. De Leon said, adding the agreement with OSP expands police assistance to the region from protecting people against lawless elements to helping indigents access health care.
Operation Smile has been providing free surgery and related cleft care to children with cleft lip and cleft palate since 1982, and has treated more than 35,000 cleft patients all over the Philippines.
“Our agreement with PRO3 will allow us to treat more,” Mr. Romano said, emphasizing that this pioneering project with the PNP will be rolled out to other police regional offices nationwide if the desired results is achieved.