Going the extra smile
By Allyza Quirante
With Belo Medical Group’s long-running campaign “Belo Goes the Extra sMILE,” the company reminds us that beauty is not only skin deep, as they help bring back the confidence in children with cleft lip and palate. Through the Belo Smiles exhibit tour, they aim to raise awareness on the cause, while sharing the inspiring stories of their beneficiaries, with special celebrity guests who have come to show their support for the cause.
The charity started in 2011, and since then, it has helped more than 150 kids with the disability. According to Operation Smile, an international non-profit organization who are partners of the company, approximately 4,500 kids per year are born with a cleft in the Philippines. Although an operation can be completed within 45 minutes, the cost of which is quite expensive pegged at P12,000. The campaign makes these services readily available and accessible to those in need, particularly to those in who cannot afford the cost of the surgery and medication.
Children with cleft lip are prone to suffer from hunger and thirst, but beyond the physical hindrances, this can greatly affect their psychosocial well-being as well. Dr. Vicki Belo shares, “It has been my vision to help change lives of people and with Belo Smiles, I am able to help these kids have a brighter future filled with more confidence. It affects their self-esteem, the way they interact with people even their outlook on life.”
The exhibit documents the transformation of its beneficiaries, celebrating the progress of the campaign with its supporters and partners while recognizing the volunteerism of doctors from the company who have helped the cause. Aside from extending their gratitude, the company also expressed their hopes to achieve more in the future with this campaign. They also want to expand their operations to rural areas in the future, encouraging more volunteers to support their mission. Mom-to-be Cristalle Belo-Pitt says, “We would like to encourage organizations, volunteers and those that also wanted to support this cause, that is why we will be running this exhibit in different locations.”
The Belo Smiles exhibit started on March 14 at SM Mega Fashion Hall and has also made its way to SM Mall of Asia. On April 6-8, it will be at SM Aura Premier and from April 27-29 it will be at SM North EDSA. If you want to know more about the cause visit www.belomed.com.