At Operation Smile, we believe an investment in students is an investment in our future. Our focus on youth leadership has been an integral part of our organisation since our inception. Our youth leaders today are our future. The only way Operation Smile will continue to make a lasting difference is if the culture of caring and humanity is transmitted to our youth to take that excitement and energy into our next era of smiles.

“I have a social responsibility to dedicate myself to Operation Smile and to help other children just like me. It's not just about one surgery - it is so much more than that. It's about giving a child hope.“

- Blain van Wyk, Student Volunteer and Johnson and Johnson global citizen 2017, South Africa.

"Volunteering is multifaceted.  Working with the students enables me to broaden my horizon by seeing the future through their eyes while I broaden theirs when they see the rewards of giving back.  On a mission parents of patients awaken me to the simplicity of their lives and their philosophy.  It has changed the way I live.”

- Wendy Bradshaw, Student Sponsor, South Africa

"Operation Smile reminds me every day of the effect and impact that a life-changing surgery has on individuals who otherwise would have been largely marginalised and whose health would have been otherwise compromised."

- Leila Amien, Student Volunteer, South Africa



“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President