Operation International 2022: A Year in Review
December 14, 2022
With a world reopened after nearly 2 years of COVID-19 travel restrictions, 2022 was a great year for Operation International, now in our 25th year.
It amazes me what we have accomplished in 25 years. Never could I have imagined what this organization would and could become.
To have so many medical volunteers and supporters of our cause, Operation International is where it is today because of you.
And for that, I feel incredibly blessed, and I'm happy to share with you all the wonderful things we accomplished this year.
8 Medical Missions, 3 New Teams
Normalcy never felt so good, as our teams were able to go on and complete their missions in 2022.
And this year, back in full swing, we are proud to say our teams went on 8 missions, going to Uganda, Ghana, and Bolivia.
We're also proud to share that our organization is growing. This year, Operational International welcomed three new teams: Team Manhattan, Team Spain, and Team Florida.
Team UK and Team Spain completed their first missions this year, and Team Florida will go on theirs in 2023.
Below is an overview of all our missions in 2022:
- March - Ghana - Team Kids
- April - Uganda - Team ORV (Operation Restore Vision)
- May - Bolivia - Team NY
- May - Ghana - Team Chicago
- July - Bolivia - Dental Team, 500 patients treated
- September - Ghana - Team Spain
- October - Uganda - Team Manhattan
- December - Ghana - Team UK
Collectively, our teams have treated over 1,000 patients, performing some of the following:
- Cleft lip surgeries
- Tumor removals
- Cataract surgeries
- Tonsillectomy surgeries
- Thyroidectomy surgeries
- Hernia surgeries
- Dental care
2 Containers Shipped
Logistics is a challenge, especially when you're trying to ship a container!
To do our jobs properly, we need the right supplies and equipment, but collectively it's heavy and needs to be shipped in a container that supports it.
On top of that, when you're shipping internationally, there are costs, paperwork, and bureaucracy to deal with. Items in the container have to be inspected, questioned, and ultimately approved to cross borders.
Then you need someone to transport the container, going to areas a little more remote.
Needless to say, after numerous hoops jumped through, our containers made it to Tarija in Bolivia.
The significance of these containers shipped is great. We're able to return to places like Tarija, where we will have proper resources available to administer treatment at a high level.
Building Schools & Orphanage
Operation International is known for providing medical care around the world to those in need, at no cost to the patient.
But that's not the only thing we should be known for.
We are expanding our reach to help children by building schools and an orphanage, all being constructed in Uganda.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has hit Sub-Saharan Africa especially hard, and Uganda is no exception. According to an earlier study, half of orphaned Ugandan children lost parents because of the disease.
With so many orphaned children in Uganda alone, there is a tremendous need for support.
Fortunately, Operation International team members like Jack Van de Wetering have done a lot of work in setting up an orphanage.
Hundreds of kids now have food, clothing, shelter, and an opportunity for education.
For education, a school must be built, and the Old Glory School for kids has been constructed.
In addition, Operation International is in the process of building an international school, giving children in Uganda increased educational opportunities. Scholarships will be awarded to the children.
Check out this video to learn more about the international school, the progress being made in its construction, and the motivation for its being.
Soon, Operation International will be recruiting teachers for the school!
Record Funds Raised
Our 25th Annual Gala in October was a huge success.
Through a combination of Gala ticket sales, event sponsors, auctions, raffle tickets, and event attendees being extra generous, we raised over $225,000!
This is the most we've ever raised at all of our Gala events, and this record funding will go a long way in supporting future missions and improving the lives of many.
Hope & Happiness Restored to Many
We're proud of what we've done, but what brings us the most joy is seeing the reactions of the patients we treat, including their families.
To have a tumor removed or one's vision restored, it's a beautiful sight to witness one's appreciation for the treatment they received.
Seeing a patient's tears of joy after a successful operation and their fresh outlook on life...
Seeing the parents' tears of joy after their baby's cleft lip surgery was successfully performed, knowing their baby will have a better future...
One can't help but get a little emotional seeing this... and that's a good thing! We love these moments, and it's why we do what we do.
Want to see the patients we treat and what that heartfelt appreciation looks like? Check out this video!
Indeed, the work Operation International does is life-changing and in some cases life-saving.
And in really special cases, our team's work can reunite a patient with their family!
Check out one of our earlier posts to learn more about Ibar from Paraguay and how his operation brought him back to family after 20+ years' absence.
Much Accomplished in 2022, More to Come in 2023
Now in our 25th year, 2022 was a great one for Operation International.
We've expanded our team, raised record funds, shipped 2 containers, built schools and an orphanage, as well as brought hope and joy to so many good people around the world.
In the New Year, we will keep you updated on our plans for 2023.
On behalf of Operation International, I thank you very much for your continued support and wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!