DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-hero

All photographs courtesy of Operation Smile

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-title

Operation Smile

Inside Pritika Swarup’s Mission Trip to Peru

DEBUG: core/paragraph

“I have always wanted to use my platform to do good,” says model and beauty entrepreneur Pritika Swarup. “I feel really lucky to be able to lend my voice and support an organization that truly makes a difference.”

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Swarup, who has been volunteering with our #VBGIVESBACK partner Operation Smile since middle school, has traveled the world on behalf of the nonprofit–from India to Mozambique. Her most recent stop? Lima, Peru, where 71 life-changing surgeries were recently performed, and solely by female medical professionals as part of the organization’s Women in Medicine program.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

“The purpose of Women in Medicine is to celebrate women in healthcare who ensure that Operation Smile offers the highest level of surgical procedures and multidisciplinary care for cleft lip and cleft palate patients around the world,” says president and co-founder Kathy Magee. "By highlighting their stories, we can inspire girls and young women to pursue careers in medicine and demonstrate the impact they can have on our programs."

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Below, Pritika takes us behind the scenes of her Women in Medicine mission for Operation Smile.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

P.S. Don't forget that, now through September, Veronica Beard will donate a portion of proceeds from every online order to this worthy cause. Join us in making a difference.

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-small-header

Photo Diary

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-hero

DEBUG: core/paragraph

1. “Before surgery, each child with a cleft condition is seen by several medical specialists and screened to ensure they receive the care they need. I was touched by all the passion that our medical volunteers brought to their work.”

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-two-column

2. “My time with Valhery, a beautiful 2-year-old-girl, was incredibly memorable. My heart skipped a beat each time I heard her laugh. She and I gravitated towards each other from the moment we met.”

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-two-column

3. “I brought Valhery out of the OR to see her mother Gisella. Gisella was overjoyed to see her baby girl after surgery. We were both brought to tears as we had a moment of understanding that Valhery would have a beautiful life.”

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-two-column

4. “Being able to take our patients through the entire process from screening to post-surgery is such an incredible experience. It means so much to me to be able to be there for our patients in their most vulnerable moments.”

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-hero

DEBUG: core/paragraph

5. “Witnessing how surgery transforms a child’s life is powerful. In just 45 minutes, the gift of a smile is given. I get so emotional about it.”

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-hero

DEBUG: core/paragraph

6. “The most inspiring part of this mission was being surrounded by strong, powerful women. I was in awe of the leadership that was chosen to lead this program. Gentle, kind, empathetic. A true leader is someone whose success is rooted with their team. I am honored to be a part of this team."

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-small-header

Watch Now: Pritika Swarup in Action

DEBUG: core-embed/youtube

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-small-header

discover more on Vb Edit

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-related