Our cooperation with Gnosjo Global Association

We are happy and proud to tell you more about our cooperation with Gnosjo Global Association.

Gnosjö Global Association

Together we’ll make a difference!

In January 2019, Gnosjo Global’s volunteer worker Monica Hellström spent two weeks in the city of Haldia outside Kolkata in India working with the international organisation Operation Smile as a volunteer surgical nurse.

Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. In Sweden and other parts of the western world this malformation is probably discovered already during pregnancy via ultra sound scanning. The children then undergo operations already during the first few months of their lives, allowing them to eat and drink without hindrance. Growing up, they have regular access to speech therapists, dentists, surgeons and otorhinolaryngologists, often the malformation ends up not even noticeable, despite its otherwise so very visible position in people’s faces.

If you instead are born in a country where healthcare costs have to be paid out of pocket, this kind of care often becomes impossible. Children born with the condition struggle to eat, become malnourished and sometimes even die. If they do survive, they often grow up being excluded, as many cannot go to school, socialize with family and friends, or appear in public spaces. This is because of widely held beliefs that the affected or their family carry evil spirits, that they are being punished for something they've done, or that the condition may be contagious. Many children live hidden away in huts or dark rooms.

Operation smile carries out 150-200 missions in different countries each year, is available in many countries around the world and aims to work both in the short and long term. They also return to the same locations year after year, allowing people to know where to find them.

Now I, Monica, had the privilege to take part in my very first mission with them. During the first days after our arrival we unpacked our material and equipment, and set up an entire mini-hospital. We had been provided with one wing of an old decommissioned hospital, and now we organised a ward for providing care, a recovery room, play therapy, patient hotel, and, of course, operating rooms. We had two operating tables in each room, with a total of six for the whole facility. (In Sweden the standard is, of course, to only have one patient per operating room).

Then we began the great day of screening where over 230 patients and their families arrived, and we examined all the children/youths that might be getting an operation. The examinations were to ensure they had no infections or other severe illnesses, and to determine if and what type of operation could be offered. The families then stay at the hospital while waiting for the operation to take place, as many travelled from far away and did not have the means to make a second trip.

Many are afraid and sceptical of hospital treatment, and of the operation, children and adults alike are worried and not used to facing doctors and nurses.

Then, over the course of five days, we operate from early morning to late at night, giving a total of 110 children and youths an operation, and a new smile!! One operation takes roughly one hour and costs no more than SEK 2,500 - 3,500. Life-saving and life-changing. I was there in the role of a surgical nurse, which means that I prepare instruments and material ahead of the operation, assist with both administrating anaesthesia and with the operation itself, clean the area, sanitise the instruments and clear up the room after the operation.

I was one of approximately 50 volunteers from countries across the world taking part in this mission. I had bought and brought along toothbrushes, soap, mirrors and other sanitary items to give to the children and their families. I handed out clothes and toys I had received as donations; hats, socks, t-shirts, and plush toys.

It felt wonderful to in such a concrete way be a part of helping improve the life of a child, and by extension also that of its entire family.

I hope and believe that I will be taking part in several more missions with Operation Smile, so keep an eye on media and TV, they will be investing more in the future into garnering attention for their cause. Well-known ambassadors for their organisation include Malou von Sievers and Sara Larsson. There are some excellent and very moving documentaries available on Youtube for anyone looking for more information.

I hope everyone at By Rydens feel that you are making a difference. With you as the main sponsor for Gnosjo Global you make it possible for me to travel and be part of these life-changing operations, contribute with information, jobs, and things I can buy to bring and hand out during the trip.

Thanks for following and supporting us on social media, it means the world to us!!

Together we’ll make a difference!!



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Bilderna har vi fått låna av Monika ( på bilder i grå tröja)  som just varit på plats i Kenya för ett första besök. 

Följ gärna Monikas arbete i sociala media på