AS Watson and Operation Smile bring smiles to 6,500 cleft children


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AS Watson and Operation Smile bring smiles to 6,500 cleft children
With an exclusive sponsorship from AS Watson, 60 patients received life-changing surgeries carried out by Operation Smile

AS Watson, the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, proudly announces the achievement of sponsoring 6,500 corrective surgeries for children with cleft conditions through its partnership with Operation Smile. This significant accomplishment highlights AS Watson’s commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of children in need.

With a purpose to put a smile on our customers’ faces today and tomorrow, AS Watson joined hands with its retail brands to launch its first-ever global sustainability program, “Give a Smile” in 2018. It has been dedicated to bringing smiles and hope to cleft children.

Malina Ngai, CEO of AS Watson (Asia & Europe) is delighted to see the impact of Give a Smile campaign, “Through the collaboration with Operation Smile, AS Watson has successfully sponsored 6,500 surgeries, transforming the lives of the cleft children and their families. The surgeries have not only improved the children’s physical well-being but also their mental well-being. At first, we aimed to transform 10,000 smiles by 2030, and now we expect to surpass this target by 2026.”

“We couldn’t have done this alone, it’s a joint effort by our people, our customers, and our business partners. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their tremendous support in our Give a Smile campaign, helping cleft children restore the smiles they deserve.”

Accelerating impact for more smiles

Recently, AS Watson’s Next Gen Sustainability Committee and Watsons Philippines jointly participated in a medical mission in the Philippines from 17-21 Oct. With exclusive sponsorship from AS Watson, 60 patients will receive life-changing surgeries carried out by medical professionals from Operation Smile.

“Watsons Philippines is grateful for our partnership with Operation Smile which allowed us to reach out to children with cleft lip and cleft palate conditions, especially in the underserved communities. It has been a decade of transforming lives and we are on track to achieve, or even surpass, our goal of 3,300 surgeries in the Philippines alone by 2030. Beyond the surgeries, it’s heartwarming to see beneficiaries uplift their lives and be given a newfound hope to live a normal life,”  shares Danilo Chiong, Watsons Philippines Managing Director. 

Kathy Magee, Operation Smiles’ Co-founder, President, and CEO said, “Partnerships are the cornerstone of our mission’s success, and we’re profoundly grateful for our collaboration with AS Watson. Their unwavering dedication to support our cause has not only brought more smiles but has also transformed the lives of our patients and their communities. Together, we’re providing access to comprehensive care and surgery, paving the way for a healthier future. It’s through such meaningful partnerships that we can truly make a difference.”

Empowering women and next generation

AS Watson’s commitment to empowering women is demonstrated through its support of Operation Smile’s Women in Medicine initiative providing educational pathways for women in the medical and health sectors. This initiative aims to empower more women to become global leaders in medicine, healthcare, and surgery. Five Women in Medicine programs were hosted, including the most recent one in Cebu, Philippines in 2022 where an all-women team of volunteers from various regions and specialists provided educational opportunities and specialty trainings.

Ngai emphasized the importance of engaging young people in driving sustainability endeavors. The third cohort of the AS Watson Next Gen Sustainability Committee was inaugurated in September 2023, comprising of 21 Gen Z team members across Asia and Europe. As volunteers, the committee members joined the medical mission to support and meet the patients and their families, witnessing the life-changing impact of the Give a Smile campaign.

Ngai said, “AS Watson is giving young people a voice and engaging them in driving the Group’s sustainability initiatives. The Next Gen Sustainability Committee will contribute to various projects centered around youth empowerment, protecting the planet, and diversity, equity, and inclusion during their 18-month mandate. They will accelerate the progress on sustainability and work towards creating a better world.”

Sending love for perfect smiles and brighter future

Watsons Philippines is inviting its customers to join in their fund drive aimed at assisting children with cleft palate conditions. They’ve placed Give a Smile donation cans in over 600 Watsons Stores, and for those who prefer the convenience of online transactions, donations can also be made through the Watsons Online Store. Additionally, customers have the option to contribute by donating their Watsons Card and SM Advantage Card points, which will directly contribute to funding essential surgeries. By sharing this initiative, you’re not only helping these kids obtain perfect smiles but also ensuring they have a brighter future ahead. – Rappler.com


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Watsons is part of the Health and Beauty Store chain of A.S Watson, the largest health, beauty, cosmetics, and perfumery retailer in the world. Today, Watsons H&B Asia is the leading health and beauty chain in the continent with successful operations in 15 markets. In 2002, A.S. Watson Group joined hands with SM Prime Holdings Inc., the Philippines' leading shopping mall developer. The partnership brought about the first Watsons stores in SM Megamall and The Podium (Ortigas). Today, Watsons operates 900+ stores in the Philippines serving more than 100,000 customers per day.