Alliance for Smiles organizes and sends surgical teams to under-served countries for two week missions . A surgical team is comprised of approximately 14 medical volunteers, supported by approximately 6 non-medical volunteers. During a mission 60 to 80 children receive free surgery for cleft lip and palate anomalies. The AfS team works side-by-side with local medical practitioners to exchange ideas on proper medical techniques and procedures, as well as to provide follow-up care.
Volunteer positions on medical missions include the following medical and non-medical positions:
- Plastic Surgeon (with cleft experience)
- Anesthesiologist (with pediatric experience)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (with pediatric experience)
- Pediatrician (with current PALS)
- OR Nurse
- PACU nurse (with current PALS & ACLS)
- Dental Hygienist
- Speech Pathologist (with cleft experience)
- Mission Director
- Medical Record Keeper
- Family/Ward Coordinator
If you would like to volunteer in the office, please contact us for more information.
Volunteer Application Forms
Fellowship Program – Internship Opportunity:
The Alliance for Smiles (AfS) International Medical Fellowship program is designed for pre-med students who are ready to enter the medical field.
International Medical Fellowship
Intensive Twelve Day Medical Missions – $2,500
Maybe you’re almost done with school or you’re completely “over” your first job and you’re wondering what you should do next, or maybe you’re simply curious about what changing lives could look like.
You’ve had a bit of interesting experience in and out of the classroom, and have learned a ton, but you’re in search of something more. More hands-on experience, something—different.
Everyone seems to be urging you to choose a career path, and perhaps you’ve already chosen medicine, but you just don’t know where you want to go yet. All you know is that you need more experience.
You want to help make the world a better place. You want to see your impact on the lives of others, and where you are now, you just don’t see that happening.
You’re craving something real, a professional experience, a connection to something that matters, and maybe even a change of scenery.
Imagine, working side-by-side with a team of people who are changing lives: top plastic surgeons, pediatricians, dentists, practitioners, and more.
- You’re excited to have a part in making a change that matters. Additionally, you’re part of a mission that’s bigger than yourself and it fills you with joy every single morning.
- You’re getting an intimate peek at a potential future career all while getting to go deeper into your interest and curiosity in healthcare.
- You’re traveling to a country you had only dreamed about visiting in the past. On another note, you get to combine meaningful work with your love of soaking up local culture.
This is all possible, and more, and we can’t wait to show you how to get valuable, hands-on experience, and make an impact on others.
Finally! You get a special kind of healthcare experience. A rare, up close and personal peek inside the operating room combined with international travel and mentorship from the best and brightest in the medical field.
Alliance for Smiles (AfS) is a non-profit charitable organization that repairs children’s broken smiles by providing free comprehensive treatment for cleft lip and palate anomalies in under-served areas of the world.
The International Medical Fellowship is a 14-day, once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity to learn about cleft surgeries by supporting and observing highly trained doctors and nurses on an AfS mission. You’ll spend 12 days with the medical team and 2 days exploring.
The AfS team works side-by-side with local medical practitioners to exchange ideas on proper medical techniques and procedures, as well as to provide training and follow-up care. And you get to be there, right beside them.
As a fellow on a mission, a portion of your investment will be dedicated on your behalf to one child’s transformational cleft surgery.
Finally, you’ve found a cause you can get behind. You know without a doubt that this is your time to travel, learn, and make a difference.
The 14-Day International Medical Fellowship is for you if you are:
- At least 18 years of age at the time of the trip (If you’re under 18 when you apply, we’ll also need consent from your parent or guardian in writing)
- A high school graduate
- Curious about healthcare, a pre-medical student, an undergraduate student, or a medical student
- Motivated to do life-changing work in a fellowship and ready to learn
No more empty work—It’s time to experience inspiration and joy with a team as you help change lives for the better.
With The 14-Day International Medical Fellowship, you will:
- Work side-by-side with local medical practitioners to exchange ideas on proper medical techniques and procedures, as well as to provide training and follow-up care
- Travel to an under-served part of the world with two full days to explore
- Be surrounded by mentors and teachers who are the best in the plastic surgery and reconstruction fields
- Receive noteworthy volunteer hours – 80 hours of verified volunteer time and a certificate of completion
- See the team’s impact in the form of beautiful smiles on children’s faces
The 14-Day International Medical Fellowship includes:
Job Shadowing: You’ll shadow our expert team while learning what it takes to prepare for, conduct, and recover from cleft-lip surgery by rotating through each position. You’ll shadow professionals from plastic surgery to anesthesia, from record-keeping to holding beautiful babies.
Small Group Mentorship: With up to four fellows per mission, you’ll have access to all the doctors and nurses from breakfast through dinner. You’ll stay at the same hotel, dine together, and shadow—both in and out of the operating room, throughout the day for all 14 days. You get to learn in a structured environment with a syllabus to guide you and allow you to test your own knowledge against our “must know” syllabus questions.
Thinking Bigger: When we go on these missions, we go in with open minds. Since we don’t know everything in advance and we’re respectful of the locals’ knowledge, routines, and culture, we work with them shoulder-to-shoulder to establish routines and practices that work with the local equipment, education, and culture. This is also why we’re so passionate about our treatment centers. We have the opportunity to develop and educate the local hospitals and medical staff to an extent where they can be successful without us. You’ll develop international friendships and understanding to maintain and cultivate new levels of peace.
A Fulfilling Day of Connection and Learning: Every mission looks a little different. Here’s a sample schedule:
- You’ll rise and shine at 6:30 am to be ready to enjoy breakfast with the team at the hotel by 7 am
- You and the team will walk to the hospital where surgeries begin at 8 am
- Break for lunch with the local hospital staff and the medical team
- Get ready for the second half of the day which ends at about 5:30 pm—just in time to wash up for dinner at 6: 30 pm
- Each day, you’ll also get to do morning and evening rounds with the medical staff
Travel Costs: Accommodations for 11 nights, ground transportation to and from the airport, 3 healthy meals a day, travel insurance, and administrative costs. Airfare is your responsibility.
A Safe and Secure Travel Experience: Working with our carefully vetted travel agency, they’ll help you book accommodations in the safest areas that typically have easy access to major roads, shopping areas, U.S. embassies, and the airport.
Freedom to Explore: You get 2 full days off during your 14-day fellowship mission to explore. You can choose from several customized short trips which are sold as all-inclusive packages and can be added to your fellowship charges. Ask for more information.
We have tons of fundraising ideas to help you raise funds. For more information contact us at email@example.com or (415) 647-4481.
For available mission dates, please see our Upcoming Missions
Are you ready to give a deserving child a smile and an experience that will last a lifetime? Fantastic! Here’s how to apply:
Step 1: Complete your Application
Step 2: A team member will reach out to discuss the program with you – to answer any questions and make sure you feel comfortable. You’ll also submit the $500 deposit at this time.
Step 3: You’ll receive all the information you need by email and we’ll work with you to ensure you’re fully prepared. In addition, you’ll pay the full amount before your departure..
Any Questions? Contact our office
Although I don’t know your names, when I see your smile I can feel your love. You are so kind, so sincere, and I am so touched. There is actually love in this world, and individuals are not as selfish and cold-hearted as I believed. We were neither friends nor relatives, yet you came so far to help me. I just can’t put into words how touched I am.
I was so very worried about my child, Somiya. You have helped us a lot by coming here. I and my family are very grateful to you for this, so much that we are out of words. We will remember you till the last days of our lives.
|Volunteer of the Year||Distinguished Service Award||John Uth Memorial Award|
|2008 - Barbara Fisher|
|2009 - Dave Fowler||2009 - Dr. Colin Wong|
|2010 - Wilber Breseman||2010 - Dr. Wally Chang|
|2011 - Dr. Quentin Li||2011 - John Goings|
|2012 - Dr. Karin Vargervik||2012 - John Uth|
|2013 - Tina Hollcroft||2013 - Barbara Fisher||2013 - Burton Berry|
|2014 - Dr. Chih-Chen Fang||2014 - Tina Hollcroft||2014 - Rotary Club of Wanchai|
|2015 - Mary Jensen||2015 - Rotary International|
|2016 - Dr. Billy De Shazo||2016 - STOP Cleft International Alliance|
|2017 - Rosemary Welde||2017 - David Fowler||2017 - Shanghai Ciguang Skin Health Foundation|
|2018 - Dorothy Ferreira||2018 - Tai Wang & WAC Lighting|
|2019 - Becky Steed, RN||2019 - Dr. Karl Wustrack||2019 - Dr. Chih-Chen Fang|
|2020 - Mary Liu||2020 - Dr. Deinde Shoga||2020 - Tina Fischlin|
|2021 - Nan Madden||2021 - Rosemary Welde||2021 - Jean and Dave Rosenblum|
Decade of Leadership Awards
In order to celebrate dedication to AfS on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary, the Decade of Leadership Award was created to honor four remarkable individuals who have given of their skills and talents from the beginning days of Alliance for Smiles.
- Barbara Fisher
- John Goings
- Dr. Karin Vargervik
- Dr. Colin Wong
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Dr. Colin Wong
- Dr. Karin Vargervik
- John Goings
Children’s Champion Award
- Burt and Joan Berry
In 2009 Alliance for Smiles launched its Legacy Campaign to encourage individuals to make a minimum $5000 one-time donation; or to make multiple donations through-out the year adding up to $5000. Participation in this campaign is recognized by membership in a special Legacy Club that will be publicized on the website, at the Gala and in literature. Everyone who donated a minimum $5000 by December 31, 2009 became a Charter Member of this very special Club.
|Legacy Club Charter Members||Legacy Club 2010-2011|
|Burt Berry||Burton Berry|
|Wilber Breseman||Wilber Breseman|
|Tai Can -Wang||Tai Can-Wang|
|Dr. Wallace Chang||Cecile Chiquette|
|Cecile Chiquette||David De Roode|
|David De Roode||Jim Deitz|
|James Deitz||John Goings|
|John Goings||Allan Herzog|
|Allan Herzog||Silvia Iselin|
|Bing Shin Ho||Mary Jensen|
|Howard Ho||Benjamin Lam|
|Joe Hoffman||Dr. Quentin Li|
|Benjamin Lam||Anna Marie Marcias|
|Edward Lau||Dr. Thomas Mack|
|Jojo and Noime Liangco||James Patrick|
|Dr. Thomas Mack||Angelo Rebizzo|
|Gary Mitchell||Dr. Collin Wong|
|James Patrick||Edith Richter|
|Stacey Quo||Robert and Kathryn Smith|
|Eng Rung Tsai||John Uth|
|John Uth||Dr. Karin Vargervik|
|Dr. Colin Wong|
|Choi Chung Yuen|
Individuals are inspired to volunteer and donate because of their belief in the work of an organization. Especially when considering humanitarian programs, the emotions felt because of participation in a program that changes lives can have a sincere and long lasting impact.
For many, what an individual accomplishes during his or her lifetime is totally satisfying and fulfilling. Involvement in family, friends and work create a sense of well being. However, for those who want to make a mark in another way and share more of their talents and wealth with humanitarian concerns, involvement in a cause can be extremely rewarding. When they pass, they will have left a humanitarian legacy.
Those people involved in the work of Alliance for Smiles, whether as volunteers or donors, are leaving a legacy that goes beyond the lives of the children receiving surgery. It extends to the patients’ families and to their villages. Alliance for Smiles heals tens of thousands of lives when considering the extended community affected.
To carry on the work of Alliance for Smiles, funding is crucial. Therefore, those individuals who are willing and able to make significant donations are core to program sustainability. These individuals have the opportunity to allow the work of Alliance for Smiles to progress, building on an impressive past.
Therefore in 2009 Alliance for Smiles launched its Legacy Campaign to encourage individuals to make a minimum $5000 one time or multiple time donation to the work of AfS. Participation in this campaign will be recognized by membership in a special Legacy Club that will be publicized on the website, at the Gala and in literature. Everyone who donated a minimum $5000 by December 31, 2009 became a Charter Member of this very special Club.
Alliance for Smiles was formally founded by five individuals: John Uth, John Goings, James Patrick, James Deitz and Anita Stangl. However, Alliance for Smiles wanted to recognize individuals who made a leap of faith in the concept of the work of Alliance for Smiles and decided to donate a minimum of $20,000 during the first four years of operation. They are also founders of Alliance for Smiles and will be recognized in perpetuity as such. The following individuals receive the honor of this unique position:
|Mr. Burton Berry||Mrs. Debbie Jefkin-Elnakave|
|Mr. Bill Benter||Mr. Benjamin Lam|
|Mr. Wilber Breseman||Mrs. Noime Liangco|
|Dr. Wallace Chang, M.D.||Dr. Thomas Mack, D.V.M.|
|Ms. Cecile Chiquette||Mr. Donald Parachini|
|Dr. Scharleen Colant, Ph.D.||Mr. James Patrick|
|Dr. James Deitz, Ph.D.||Ms. Esther Rebizzo|
|Ms. Barbara Fisher||Ms. Dee Dee Ricks|
|Mr. John Goings||Dr. Alan Stormo, M.D.|
|Allan and Nancy Herzog||Mr. Eng-Rung Tsai|
|Mr. Howard Ho||Mr. John Uth|
|The Family of Taipei||Tai and Tony Wang (W.A.C. Lighting)|
|Mr. Joseph Hoffman||Dr. Colin and Mrs. Silvana Wong|
Rotary Clubs who supported the work of Alliance for Smiles during its first four formative years with donations of $25,000 or more received the honor of being Founding Rotary Clubs. Alliance for Smiles recognizes three Rotary Clubs with this title and they will be recognized in perpetuity for their faith in the work and dreams of Alliance for Smiles.
The Rotary Club of San Francisco
The Rotary Club of Chicago
The Rotary Club of Wanchai, Hong Kong
Alliance for Smiles wishes to thank the above individuals and Rotary Clubs for their support which has helped Alliance for Smiles to not only facilitate medical missions during its first four years but to prosper and grow.