Around the World With Drusa from Italy

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.

On our third episode of “Around the World,” Deepak Sran of Canada sat down with Drusa Carrassi Del Villar from Rome, Italy. Currently studying politics and international relations at University College London, Drusa has been a student volunteer for about five years. During this edition, Drusa shares the details of her gap year as well as her own personal connections to Operation Smile.

Here are a few highlights from this episode with the wonderful Drusa:

  • Everyone who becomes involved with Operation Smile eventually gets attached or bonds with the organization, Drusa explains. “My favorite thing is that once you become part of this family, you’re always involved, you always appreciate it and there’s always something to do. There are thousands of events you can come up with, you can really easily have an impact on Operation Smile’s cause by just being a member.”
  • Drusa describes the impact Operation Smile has had on her own life as a student volunteer, organizing events for a great cause while knowing her actions are assisting those in need. She also describes the greatest lesson she’s gained from her involvement: “To step outside of your own priorities and first figure out that there are people that you might want to help before yourself. Being in Honduras and Guatemala made me realize that my purpose there was just to be there for others, in any way possible. Sometimes it’s good to be in a position where your only purpose is to be there for others to assist them and to support them, and to step away from your own needs and necessities in that moment because probably they’re, in a way, less important in that precise moment than other people’s needs.”
  • As an avid volunteer for the organization, Drusa provided this insight to those of us just getting started on our own Operation Smile journeys: “Do your best, give 100 percent of your effort because you can’t even imagine how it can reward you. The opportunities Operation Smile gives you are infinite. I feel like you’re free to do whatever you want, whatever comes to your mind to help. There will always be someone who will support that idea and move forward with implementing your ideas.”