Student Programmes

At Operation Smile we believe an investment in students is an investment in our future, and our focus on youth leadership has been an integral part of our organisation since we were founded in 1982.

We count on the care and dedication of students, parents and teachers to help us bring as many smiles as we can to children all across the world. From the hundreds of Operation Smile clubs in schools and universities around the world, to the student volunteers selected to accompany us on our medical missions, we depend on the next generation of leaders to build awareness, raise funds and educate others on our mission to find and heal every child living with an untreated cleft condition.


Maria Fernandez Diaz takes a selfie during the walking tour of Rome after Operation Smile’s 26th Annual International Student Leadership Conference in Rome, Italy


Student Leaders play a key role in the life changing work we do. Join more than 18,000 students worldwide in their mission to transform the lives of children born with cleft conditions by raising awareness and funds across campus.

Camila Mendoza assists Valeria Reyes during the Hands Only CPR training


Contact our office to request a speaker for your school. One of our medical volunteers would love to come and share their story with you and your classmates.

Team Milagros does a team cheer before the start of Team Games during the ISLC conference in Rome, Italy, 2017. Operation Smile’s 26th Annual International Student Leadership Conference


Group shot at the Colosseum after walking tour of Rome during the International Student Leadership conference in Rome, Italy, 2017

International Student Leadership Conference 2017, Rome, Italy


Student Jonathan kneels down with a child who has had cleft surgery at Operation Smiles mission

Jonathan Amarilla

“I witnessed how a group of people with so much good in their hearts can take kids who have never smiled and give them a new start, a new life they deserve. That day changed my entire perception on life. I made one of the most important decisions of my life. I decided to become a doctor. My dream is to volunteer and help give those kids a new chance.

Jonathan Amarilla, Student Volunteer, Paraguay. Today, Amarilla is in his third year of medical school.

Student Brooke smiles holding a child with a cleft condition on an Operation Smile mission

Brooke Wayne

I was born with a cleft lip and palate, which in a way has made my first trip with Operation Smile a sort of safe haven. It was here that I met 10-year-old Rosio. She was staring. When she walked toward me, I lowered myself to her level. I could see her tiny scar, too. She pointed at my scar and motioned to her own scar. She smiled and said, ‘Que linda’ — you’re beautiful.

Brooke Wayne, Student Volunteer, United States

Student Ellie blowing bubbles to children on the first day of Operation Smiles mission to Cebu, Philippines 2018

Ellie McDonald

“Wow, what an incredible experience! As soon as I arrived I was swept up into the electric atmosphere of over 500 students and very quickly relaxed into taking part in all the opportunities and activities available. The most outstanding message I came away with was to think beyond my own life and do more for the benefit of others.

Ellie McDonald, Student Volunteer, United Kingdom


Contact the Community Partnerships Team to learn how you and your school or university can help change children’s lives forever! It all starts with you!

020 3475 5126 |