AS Watson Extends Love to Bring Smile to 6,500 Cleft Children in Partnership with Operation Smile

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 19 October 2023 - 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.

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Malina Ngai, CEO of AS Watson (Asia & Europe) witnesses the transformative journey of children with clefts who have become beneficiaries of the Give a Smile surgical programme

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 programme, "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 have also their mental wellbeing. 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.

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 programmes 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 emphasised the importance of engaging young people in driving sustainability endeavors. The third cohort of 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."

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About AS Watson Group
About AS Watson Group
Established in 1841, AS Watson Group is the world's largest international health and beauty retailer operating over 16,100 stores under 12 retail brands in 28 markets, with about 130,000 employees worldwide. For the fiscal year 2022, AS Watson Group recorded revenue of US$22 billion. Every year, we are serving over 5.5 billion shoppers via our O+O (Offline plus Online) technology-enabled platforms.

AS Watson Group is also a member of the world-renowned multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, which has four core businesses ‐ ports and related services, retail, infrastructure and telecommunications in over 50 countries.

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About Operation Smile
Operation Smile is a global nonprofit specializing in expert cleft surgery and care. To improve the quality of life of those who have been left behind by under-resourced health systems, Operation Smile has provided free, life-changing surgical and dental care for more than 365,000 patients since 1982. By leveraging on over 40 years of experience in treating children with cleft conditions, and relying on a network of 6,000 medical volunteers, Operation Smile builds local capacity and improves the overall quality of health care by partnering with local hospitals to provide training, education, supplies and equipment. In celebrating our 40th anniversary, Operation Smile is marked the beginning of the Next Decade with an ambitious goal: increase access to quality care for 1 million patients.


AS Watson Group


Philanthropy and Social Investments


20 Oct 2023


#Human Resource #Business

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