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Operation Smile at San Filippo Neri Hospital

8th January 2018

On Friday 15th December, four students (Meera, Grace, Josh and Nicola) and two teachers (Rosine and Lucy) visited theOperation Smile clinic in Rome at San Filippo Neri Hospital.

Here are some personl accounts and photographs of their visit.

I think the most amazing thing for all of us was visiting the Operation Smile clinic; seeing all of the patients, the doctors and the parents. What we have worked for all this time as a class. To see where all of the effort, the bake sales, the balloon sales, the manga drawings and all of the money raised went. To really see how it is for the children and for the family.    Grace


Davide, 2 years old

Davide is a 2 year old full of joy and very entertaining, he is easily amused by bubbles and balloons and even though his second operation was the next day he was full of wonder. I loved how we calmed down the nervous atmosphere for the parents and doctors. Davide found happiness in hitting Josh (another student who came with us to the hospital). Davide was lucky enough to be young enough not to remember the scary operation room that was to come; the volunteers were enamored with this cute and optimistic child.  Meera

Alessandro, 6 months old

'Alessandro is a 6 months old baby who was the only one that hadn't had his first operation. Alessandro wasn't a loud baby. He was quite quiet with eyes that were incredible, full of amazement. He was the only one that still had a cleft palate. When me and Grace went in first we saw a baby lying on a bed that looked huge compared to him.'    Josh

Fortunato, 10 years old

'10 year old Fortunato was an amazing friend to us but I think especially with me for the time we were there. He was the first person we met; we played with some building bricks in the corridor with him while all the doctors and nurses were visiting the other patients. He was just an ordinary kid, like us.'   Nick


Benedetta, 17 years old

'Benedetta was quite an “old” patient compared to the others and we had to get in the queue to see her after a long line of doctors, nurses, the psychologist, the speech therapist, etc! She had had her second operation the day before we saw her.  Her family was with her and we popped in to have a chat with them; the students explained about the fundraising they’d done for Project Smile and the family seemed really touched!'  Lucy


From Cristina Chiavari of Italia Student Programs

'Considering their young age, they have achieved a great result, and they have shown an incredible passion and commitment for our cause, getting the entire school involved in our project. 'Passion' from my point of view is the most important value of a leader. Passion, it is the engine that makes you get out of your comfort zone and achieve great results, it is love, dedication and commitment, it is what makes your life extraordinary, it is the key to success, it’s what makes you a special person, it’s what makes the difference in life and in the world. These young students have this passion, and they will certainly achieve great results in their future!'

After our visit, Cristina let us know that all of the patients had their operations, were released and are doing well.

 Click here to visit the gallery - Operation Smile