Operation Rainbow Canada (ORC) is a 100% volunteer non-profit medical services organization that functions without paid staff to provide free reconstructive surgery and related health care for cleft lip and cleft palate deformities to impoverished children and young adults in developing countries. The medical teams perform reconstructive surgery for children and young adults whose families could not otherwise afford them. The patients are drawn from the indigenous population of the host country, and often families travel days from their homes in order to have their children treated. In addition to cleft lip and palate surgery, the teams also perform reconstructive surgery for burn and post contractures.
Without corrective surgery, children born with cleft lip and cleft palate deformities are often shunned, ostracized, denied schooling and eventually succumb to a solitary life lived in the protection of their homes. ORC also provides education and training to physicians and other health care professionals in the host countries to help them achieve long-term self-sufficiency. For our Canadian plastic surgery residents, pediatric residents and anesthesiology residents who accompany the missions, ORC provides an invaluable hands-on experience for their future practices.