The Philippines has a population of over 100 million, unfortunately about 25% of them are living below the poverty line. When any of these families have the misfortune of having a child or children born with facial deformities, there is nothing they can do about it as they have no means to pay for their operations, therefore untreated these children are left with severe speech impediments ,malnourished because of in adequate food intake due to their open palates. Some of them have not even attended any schooling out of fear of being ostracised by their classmates & the possibility of being marginalised by the society... So a group of 10 Fil. /Aussie best friends decided to form ASK Foundation Phil, a small non for profit organisation based in Manila & its only focus is to help alleviate the sufferings of their unfortunate countrymen.
ASK Foundation's members are Via Hoffmann (team leader), Des Eito, Evelyn Zaragosa,Ann Morgia, Ver Nemeth,Ahl Diroy, Wilma Warta, Sokee Wescot , Cecile Modolo & Mila Jalandoni .
ASK Foundation has made a partnership with a group of 24 Specialists surgical medical volunteers of Operation Restore Hope New Zealand headed by Dr. Tristan de Chalain & Dr. Christopher Wachsmuth of Germany .Their other volunteers are Pearl Ventura & Ana Barbajo from Australia ,Dr. Jeff Fairley , Dubai & Josephine Realisan of the UK. Remarkably for the past 20 years,the International volunteers do not only donate their time & expertise pro bono but also pay their way & accommodations to the Philippines. They also brought in the much needed machines in the operating rooms for the mission.
Ask Foundation is responsible for all the logistical needs of the ORH team ,such as, Provide the Public host hospital , Recruitment of Patients , Prepare all necessary government licenses of the surgical team, Organise & fund the pre & post op. procedures , medications,supplies, food,transportations , the housing of the patients etc..
On March 11, 2018 ORH & ASK Foundation on their 20th year has concluded another successful mission in Paranaque City where it all begun in 1998 under the watchful eyes of it's then former Mayor Joey Marquez & his medical director Dr. Leigh Obed. On his retirement , the ORH mission has come in full circle not only having served Paranaque city for 6 years but has also helped the communities of the provinces of Batangas and Caloocan city . Now back again on it roots (3rd year) in the city of Paranaque under Mayor Edwin Olivarez & Ospital ng Paranaque's Chief of hospital Dr. Neal Orteza who have been both so generous in giving the permission for the mission to take over their public hospital for 10 days each year not only for their constituents but also to help other indigent patients from different parts of the Philippines.
Ask foundation's volunteer recruiter headed by Jason & Rowena Belen oversees all the recruitments of patients nation wide working along side Ms. Christine Diroy of Cavite & Dr. Sarah Marquez of Batangas. They work tirelessly to reach out to the poorest of the poor communities to help the patients reach ASK & ORH mission whilst Ms Lirio Penafuerte is ASK's volunteer coordinator who does all the in ground works for the patients stay in hospital.
ASK & ORH organisations are purely run by volunteers and that there are no administrative cost in running it's mission.
What makes ORH /ASK Foundation's mission unique is it's dedication & compassion to their recruited patients.
4 months each year, ASK foundation's team oversees the preparations of each and every patient's making sure they are treated with any illness to qualify for their respective surgeries. (Majority of these children are afflicted with Primary Complex (tuberculosis ) Pneumonia & very malnourished.) They are brought to their local community doctors for assessment, treated & given vitamins for 3 months before being transported to Paranaque city where they are housed & fed 3 days before the international team arrives for the final screening. This year out of 92 recruited patients 74 qualified but unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances . 65 patients were successfully operated on with 78 procedures. 9 patients were deferred due to health reasons but were put on waiting list for the next mission. In the mean time they are are still provided with continuos help .
Whilst there are so much work in organising a successful mission, nothing can compare to the reward one gets in seeing the transformation of each child & feel the happiness of their parents but of'course this is only possible because of all the generous donors who made OPERATION RESTORE HOPE & ASK FOUNDATION"S missions a success through out the years.!
Mr. U. Hoffmann The Cast & Crew of Koronang Hilaw
The Ladies of ASK F. Inc Joey Marquez
Mr.&Mrs John Kinsela of Billbergria Pty Ltd. Melanie Marquez
Atty. Danny & Mrs Danny Araj of Blackstone Water House Lawyers Soxie Topacio
Atty. Veno Panicker of Blackstone & Waterhouse Lawyers Kenneth de Leon
Phil.Community Herald Wyn Wyn Marquez
Mr. & Mrs Volker Heinen Dizzy Dizon
Ms.Wilma Quirante of ABC Car Rentals & Tourist Transport Inc. Albert Frias
Mr. & Mrs. Mila Jalandoni Kristina Hoffmann
Mrs. Sigrid Hoffmann Andrew Barris
Rotary Club Paranaque Southeast Bing Cristobal
The Rotary Club of Northwest Sunrise Marcus Rivera
Unitop General Merchandise Inc. Nadia Trinidad
Mr. Arnul Pan Charles Cham
Open Reel Film Gears Co Archie Lubrin.
B.I R. & I.N.D Family David Michael White
Emilio Galetzki of Penoles Metals & Chemicals Inc Vanessa Sew Hoy
Mr. Rapael Ibanes & family
Mr & Mrs Horst Kessler Lilibeth
Mrs. Chelo Hoffilena Franco Baltazar
Arch. Bobby Manosa Klein Hicks
Dr. Neal Hamilton of Cosmetic Concept Joel Corpuz &
ARTEC Technologies BHAJUNE
ABS CBN 's TFC
AS WE Celebrate ORH & ASK Foundation's 20th year & it's legacy . The team are reminded that what they do is so important in helping the unfortunate Children of the Philippines face a better future.!
Maraming Salamat Po!!
This year’s mission of "Operation Restore Hope“ is a special one. We are celebrating our twentieth anniversary.
Exactly 2o years ago Dr. Christopher Wachsmuth, co founder and president of “ORH" Germany“ and Tristan De Chalain, founder and president of "ORH New Zealand" first started operating on children from the slums of Manila.
An experienced team of plastic surgeons, anesthetists, theatre nurses, technicians and admin staff aim to improve the lives of children suffering from cleft lips and palates, as well as children with hand and foot deformaties, burns and tumors.
As an indispensable organiser Ms. Via Hoffmann, co founder of "Alay Sa Kinabukasan“ or for short, ASK foundation has taken care of organisation and logistics in the Philippines for the past 20 years . Her own team spends months in preparation prior to the start of the mission, taking care of legalizing work permits, arranging custom clearances as well as venturing out into those shanty towns of Manila and other remote areas all over the Phillippines finding children in need of help.
ORH Administrator in New Zealand, Hector Gonzales is another prominent figure within the organisation, the expert in all matters relating to administration, logistics and tecnical questions concerning the logistics of ORH’s missions in Manila.
From March 9th to 17th, the highly specialized team of 32 will strive to operate on as many as 75 patients in the hospital Ospital Ng Paranaque. During this sometimes highly emotional week, our volunteers from New Zealand, Australia, the UAE, UK and Germany will happily exchange their daily routine at home to complete another mission and thereby change the outlook on life forever for these children.
To maximize the use of resources, especially time, and thereby help as many patients as possible, a smooth and well- organized process is essential:
The first two days are utilized setting up theatres and wards and assessing prospective patients prior to commencing the surgical week. To accomodate all cases 3 teams are operating simulataneously all day long.
The international team has once again chosen Ospital Ng Paranaque for this year's mission. The professional cooperation with Dr. Ephraim Neal Orteza, Director of the hospital, its location and the high technical standards of performance of its staff are integral to the success of these missions.
Our aim is also to give Filipino doctors and nurses a chance to see the work by including them into our medical teams.
By involving local medical staff into the ORH team we aim to be part of their education. Operation Restore Hope has a long standing relationship with the local Department of Health as well as other medical institutions and we believe strongly in passing on knowledge and skills wherever we can..
To all our Sponors, assiting hospitals, partners and friends around the world' our sincere gratitude. Without your highly appreciated contributions, none of this would be possible. We hope these posts provides you with some insight into the work we are so passionate about.