Meet Naicy from the UAE

Editor’s note: Our “Around the World” series started with a simple idea: Let’s connect two Operation Smile volunteers from two different countries and learn more about the impact they’ve had through the organization. The powerful stories and deep connections that came from these conversations were so inspiring that we wanted to share our favorite moments here on our blog. Subscribe to the Operation Smile Student Programs YouTube channel to watch this episode and more from this series.

For the fourth installment of “Around the World Wednesday,” we travel from the lovely nation of Italy to the wonderful United Arab Emirates, where we chat with Naicy Thakki. This Operation Smile volunteer is a fourth-year university student studying business management with a specialization in marketing at Middlesex University. She’s done it all for our cause, serving as a volunteer for about four years, leading her club, and taking on an Operation Smile internship. Throughout Drusa and Naicy’s conversation, we learn all about Naicy’s involvement, some of her insights, as well as a new project she is working on!

Here are some of our favorite moments from this episode:

  • With so many incredible memories and stories stemming from our student volunteers, it would go without saying that Naicy has her own special moment with Operation Smile that she cherishes dearly. “I went for my medical mission, my first mission, last year. It’s just crazy to see, it’s just amazing, to see how this charity makes a difference. You’ve attended so many fundraising events and you’ve advocated for the cause. And at the end when you see the difference that you’re making, that you’ve made, it’s amazing. Especially on the last day of the mission. [Seeing] the patients interact with their families, and they were just so excited, you know, about having the surgery, and it’s amazing.”
  • We all have our own personal connections with Operation Smile. When asked what Operation Smile means to her, Naicy said, “To me, as a student, I think Operation Smile is and was the best platform that I chose to give back to the community, and where I felt, yes, I am truly making a difference to this platform.”
  • Within the episode, Naicy shares her next steps after graduating university and continuing her involvement with Operation Smile. “We have actually started with our weekly meetings. I’m part of the ‘back-of-house team’ so we work on, you know, registrations for the event, advertising. Last week we discussed the advertising for the event, I think this is a great opportunity to advertise the event, so we’re planning to make it a bit bigger because last time it especially new to us because of the whole online thing, but now we’ve yo know learned how to cope with it and we’re also able to raise funds online so we’re planning to make it a bit bigger this time, focus a bit more on the middle east region.” Watch the episode to learn more about Naicy’s event!