WomenForWomen Puts New Smiles On Faces, Literally
If you think plastic surgery is a bourgeois past-time for tabloid starlets and well-offs afraid to age, the president of the IPRAS (the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) WomenforWomen initiative Constanze Neuhann-Lorenz will make you think again.
Her team of plastic surgeons and her literally puts new smiles on the disfigured faces of victims of domestic violence. In South Asia and elsewhere, it can take extreme forms like dowry death (young women who are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by husbands and in-laws in an effort to extort an increased dowry), acid attacks etc.
Such acts, when they don’t kill their target, cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns to their victims, maiming, disfiguring and scarring them for life. The wounds only get worse given the little amount of medical treatment available to these women, often from humble background and pressured to stay at home.
WomenForWomen is a worldwide network of female plastic surgeons formed in 2006 to come and help women who suffered from this type of wounds, whether they be from domestic violence, war, terrorism etc. The aim of the initiative is to provide reconstructive plastic surgery and care (pre, short-term and long-term care, including psychological help) to these women. In parallel, they educate the locals and/or give them wider employment options.
With the help of a global network of helpers and partner hospitals or medical facilities, the surgeons release muscles or fingers contracted, correct deformities, reduce scar tissues and reconstruct broken faces to the best of modern medicine abilities. The task is hard and voluntary, working conditions precarious (in war zone or remote places) and the victims innumerable. But putting new smiles on face is maybe the best motivation there is.
If you would like to help WomenForWomen, which is funded exclusively by donations and fund provided by IPRAS, you can contribute here.
(Some photos are screen capture of the WomenForWomen brochure)