Something to smile about

2019-11-19 06:00
Jumana Logday will travel to Ghana on Sunday 24 November as part of Operation Smile’s non-medical student volunteer team.

Jumana Logday will travel to Ghana on Sunday 24 November as part of Operation Smile’s non-medical student volunteer team.

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Jumana Logday, a Grade 11 learner at Bergvliet High School, is one of two South Africans who will join Operation Smile’s non-medical student volunteer team in Ghana later this month.

The team will be stationed in Ghana’s Koforidua region where they will meet children going into surgery, observe procedures and follow up on patients.

Operation Smile is a non-profit organisation (NPO) dedicated to providing free reconstructive surgery to children and young adults in developing countries all over the world. From Sunday 24 November to Wednesday 4 December, the NPO will provide free corrective surgery and medical assessments for cleft lips and cleft pallet patients in the area.

Jumana says this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is a dream come true.

“As someone who has been involved with this amazing NPO for four years, getting to experience this fantastic mission live and in action will be phenomenal,” she says.

The 17-year-old is involved in numerous clubs and societies at her school but, she says, the most prestigious one is Operation Smile.

“I have been involved in Operation Smile since Grade 8. I admire the noble work it does.”

At the beginning of the year, Jumana was elected chair of this society.

Since then, she has initiated many fundraisers, such as cupcake sales, as well as bottle cap drives. The money was donated to children in need of cleft palette and cleft lip surgery.

“We were also granted the golden opportunity of having one of the patients, baby Benedict, and his mother come talk to us about their journey and how Operation Smile has assisted them,” she says.

While based in the Koforidua, the non-medical student volunteer team will observe surgeries, provide emotional support to parents and educate children about basic nutrition and healthcare.

“The experience gained would not only be invaluable to me to pursue my studies in the medical field, but I also see this as the perfect opportunity to share my adventure and raise more awareness at my school and in the community,” explains Jumana.

She says she is looking forward to learning as much as possible, lending a helping hand and making the most of this mission.

“I would like to thank Mrs Fiona Earl (head of the Operation Smile Club at Bergvliet High) as well as my sponsor and student coordinator for granting me the opportunity to go on this thrilling trip.”

Most of all, Jumana, says she cannot wait to share a smile with the kids from Ghana.

“Thank you, Operation Smile, for continuously doing such great work. Ghana, I am ready for you!”

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