Vietnamese artists help put smiles on kids’ faces

September 14, 2006

Operation Smile briefing the auction at a news conference.

About 300 children with facial deformities are to benefit from a fund-raising event in Hanoi this weekend with an auction of paintings by 14 contemporary Vietnamese artists and one foreign artist.

About 180 people expected to attend the auction to auction paintings by well-known Vietnamese artists such as Pham Luc, Pham Duc Phong, Hung Khuynh and Le Thiet Cuong.

“The proceeds from the auction will help Operation Smile Vietnam put a smile on hundreds of Vietnamese children’s faces who would otherwise have remained untreated, and we are indebted to the generosity and support of all our sponsors for their wonderful response,” Operation Smile’s Development Director, Julie Atkinson said at a press conference this morning.

“We are incredibly fortunate to enjoy strong support we get from Vietnamese and foreign artists and the business community. A smile is something that is taken for granted by most people, but for millions of people, a smile is impossible due to disease or deformity. Children not only suffer from medical complications, which make it difficult for them to eat, speak and breathe, but also from social humiliation,” she added.

Auctioneer Rob Blain will fly from Hong Kong to lead the auction. Among those supporting the event are galleries, such as 54 Traditions gallery with a 200-year-old painting, local and international musicians, amateur painters and local and international companies.

Operation Smile is an international children’s charity providing free corrective surgery to children with facial deformities, and education and training for local health care professionals. Since Operation Smile started in Vietnam in 1989, it has helped more than 23,000 Vietnamese children all over the country.

Each year, Operation Smile surgeons, nurses and other professionals deliver life changing surgeries and medical care to hundreds of children. All children receive their operations free of charge.

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