These efforts are designed to go beyond the annual Asia-Pacific fundraiser by enabling to further see their work come to fruition as well as use their skills to assist the medical teams set up their surgeries in remote locations.
To date, more than 50 ladies and gentlemen have volunteered and supported in six locations including Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia; Changda, Tibet; Kashgar, Xinjiang; Gengkai, Guangdong as well Paro, Bhutan and Yangon in Myanmar.
The volunteers utilize the skills they normally use in their day-to-day work providing guest services across all departments, taking their attitude and values to serving in these remote and impoverished areas. Their talents are used to support the primary care teams with setting mobile surgery stations, patient registration and the numerous tasks required to aid the success of each Smile Asia medical mission.
In 2017, a portion of the proceeds from Smile Asia Week will be used to provide Plastic Surgery Fellowships to two deserving doctors from the Kingdom of Bhutan. This would be the first such initiative supported by Smile Asia, which is aimed at long-term self-sufficiency of countries where there is a lack of qualified professionals.
“I am thankful to Smile Asia and The Ritz-Carlton hotels of Asia Pacific for listening to our request and providing for these fellowships. This will be of a very long-term benefit to the people of Bhutan where currently we have no qualified Plastic Surgeons,” said Tandin Wangchuk, Minister of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan. “I am also grateful to Tarayana Foundation for supporting us with the Smile Asia initiative every year in Bhutan.
“The program with Smile Asia is a sustainable commitment that reflects our desire to support the community beyond fundraising,” said Victor Clavell, Vice President, Asia-Pacific, The Ritz-Carlton. “The medical missions are a powerful representation of our service values and commitment to global citizenship. They enable our ladies and gentlemen to utilize their skills and knowledge collaboratively with the surgical teams and see firsthand the results of their efforts.”
To date, the funds raised in three years totaled $ 1,250,154 to support almost 1,515 operations. The year 2016 alone, 14,876 cakes were sold in the space of a week with all profits going directly to the medical charity.