Mending Kids' Cristina Farrut (Director of Mission Services) and Alanoud Hamad (Mission Coordinator) get candid about what’s involved in coordinating an overseas mission. Planning an international mission truly does take a village. Not only that, it's a constant act of juggling and prioritizing. According to our mission team, the pre-plan phase has many components. To begin with, after the mission dates have been finalized, our two top priorities are to secure a local hospital and then identify a medical team. Our lead surgeons are responsible for selecting the medical team who will be traveling abroad to provide surgeries for the children and train local doctors.
Once the volunteer base of both medical and non-medical staff is established, their travel arrangements must be made. Some of our missions include upward toward 14-18 volunteers! Imagine juggling multiple itineraries and travel requests?
After that, medical supplies must be procured through corporate donations, constituent donations and lots of fundraising.
Mending Kids relies on the countries local medical teams to pre-select our patients and determine viable surgical candidates to pre-screen before our U.S. volunteers arrive in the host country.
According to Cristina, “We always run into a handful of challenges with international travel, logistics, time-change, and language barriers.”
However, our mission team agrees that in the end, it’s a great feeling when it all comes together and through teamwork the mission successfully saves children’s lives' in these impoverished communities.