Make a Deeper Connection
Contribute to a Community
Experience a New World
What Our Volunteers Say
"While I have participated in volunteer-based surgical trips for over 25 years, I only began working with Surgical Volunteers International in 2007. Since then, I have participated in 6 trips in Morocco, Vietnam, Haiti and Egypt. Each trip has been wonderful thanks to both SVI and the local teams in the hospitals with which we partner. Under Tom Flood's leadership, every surgery and interaction with the local population was extremely meaningful. More importantly, we were given an opportunity to create a lasting impact by teaching doctors new skills and methods. Tom has always gathered the best team members for optimal collaboration. It has been an honor to have been a part of SVI for over a decade."
MD, MS, FACS. Plastic Surgery
"The opportunity to volunteer as a physician with SVI has been life-changing for me. It has opened my eyes to other cultures in parts of the world that most people never have a chance to visit, let alone make a significant impact in the lives of individuals in third world countries.
What I have learned from SVI trips is that when we work together to heal and to teach in other countries we bridge the divides between nations and cultures. We are a team with a common goal to improve the lives of those we care for."
"Surgical Volunteers International has provided me with a platform that has allowed me to reach beyond my boundaries. They have afforded me with the opportunity to participate in volunteer work around the globe which has given me the chance to grow; emotionally, professionally and spiritually.
SVI has allowed me to contribute to a cause that is very dear to my heart, the chance to help improve the quality of life of others. Even the smallest of actions can reap huge rewards. Seeing the smile on children’s faces and the gratitude in their parent’s eyes has forever made an impact on my life. I once had a person ask me if I thought it really made a difference and my answer was; to that person it has, to their family, their loved ones, and their community. It has shown that love, hope and kindness can cross boundaries; physical, cultural and religious.
The benefits of volunteer work are multi-faceted. The sense of community one gets from volunteering with SVI is wonderful. Not only have I had a chance to meet wonderful people in other countries with like-minded goals, I have had the opportunity to enhance my network at home. Thank you SVI for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your amazing team. I look forward to many more life changing experiences in the years to come."
"I got involved with SVI through my wife, Young Kim, a nurse-anesthetist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. LSometimes the facility would be pretty good and sometimes primitive. In Kerala I worked in a tiny crowded room in ungodly heat, sweating into the patient’s face, restarting the compressor every 10 minutes as it shut down from the heat. Each year in Punata, Bolivia, I would have a new group of recent dental graduates to work with and teach. The first year I had a young lady Peace Corps volunteer as my translator. The second year she wasn’t there and I was struggling. Then I met a young Bolivian dentist who said, “give me a list of the words you need to know.” I wrote down about 75 dental words and she translated each into Spanish. “Learn these tonight,” she said. In Guatemala City, our coordinator heard I was a dentist and asked Tom if she could borrow me. Sure, said Tom, take him. So each morning this woman and I would travel 45 minutes to the neighboring city where I was to work on young, unschooled street kids who the coordinator was educating. In Karsog, India, on our way from the hospital to the hotel, we would buy a big bag of okra or string beans for a quarter and ask the young chefs at the hotel to cook it for dinner. In Ho Chi Minh City I worked at The Maple Clinic treating orphans or journeyed into the countryside to treat abandoned and handicapped children. SVI has provided me with enough adventure and memories for a lifetime."