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Born to Be – Deutsche Bank volunteers help heal smiles and transform lives in Zhengzhou, China

April 2014 │ China

For the third year running, Deutsche Bank Asia Foundation is supporting Operation Smile China Medical Mission (OSCMM) in its goal to transform lives. Building on the success of mission trips in the last two years with OSCMM, 15 Deutsche Bank volunteers, from various countries across Asia, joined credentialled medical professionals from around the world on April 10 to 15 to help provide specialised cleft lip and palate treatments for patients in Zhengzhou, China.

Deutsche Bank volunteers helped in administrative, translation and photography work. Joining the international medical team and Deutsche Bank volunteers were Miss Universe China 2012 and 2013, who brought awareness to the mission and OSCMM as a whole.

On the first day, more than 230 patients and families braved the rain and low temperatures to arrive at Zhengzhou Number One People’s Hospital for registration and screening. Many of the patients travelled long and arduous journeys to reach the hospital, with the furthest patient travelling all the way from Urumqi in Xinjiang Province. The dedicated medical team and volunteers saw every patient to ensure that each patient was fairly evaluated on their operation suitability. Patients who fulfilled the criteria were selected to undergo surgery from the second to fifth day. After four successful days of surgery, a total of 115 patients between six months to 34 years underwent operations.

Each successful surgery was the key to a new future. A grateful parent commented, “It is rare to encounter a charitable event like this. I would like to thank your medical mission and programme for giving this opportunity to the poor. Now my son will grow up without self esteem issues or social stigma, and he will not have an inferiority complex. Thank you for your hard work and efforts.”

Another parent, who had accompanied his adopted daughter to the screening, put in hours into making wire handicrafts that were gifted to each volunteer in appreciation for their hard work. This was despite the fact that his daughter was too young to undergo the surgery.

The team of Deutsche Bank volunteers stuck it out from start to finish, without complaint. Each had rare opportunity of observing medical professionals at work in the operating theatres. Through the mission, volunteers gained a better understanding and appreciation of OSCMM and their work. The shared experience, along with the common goal of bringing smiles to the patients, helped build trust and bridge cultures amongst the international and local volunteers. For first-time volunteers, it was a memorable experience, while for experienced volunteers, each mission only strengthened their motivation to help by joining OSCMM on yet another medical mission.

The week-long mission was the first Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific volunteering trip of the year. International volunteering trips such as these not only offers Deutsche Bank employees the opportunity to volunteer with partner organisations and contribute to societies that the Bank operates in, they also enable interactions among employees across the region and are unique opportunities to experience different cultures. The collaboration between OSCMM and Deutsche Bank is part of our Born to Be programme in the region which provides underprivileged children and youth the chance to become who they were born to be.

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Last Update: May 16, 2014
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