Our History


Uplift Internationale aims to give a life-changing gift to children with facial deformities by mending faces… one child at a time.

In 1989, maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Jaime Yrastorza led a five member medical group in the inaugural mission of Uplift Internationale. Each year since, Uplift Internationale has returned to the Philippines with a team of medical professionals and outreach volunteers.  Since its inception, the organization’s program activities have focused on providing care to children born with facial deformities, primarily clefts of the lip and palate.

Our Program
Uplift Internationale conducts Operation Taghoy (a Filipino word for whistle)–an annual mission to the Philippines to provide reparative surgical care to poor, rural children born with facial deformities.

  • The care is provided at no cost to the children or their impoverished families.
  • Up to 100 life-changing surgeries provided each year.
  • The care is provided by healthcare professionals and outreach personnel who fully donate their time and expertise.
  • These volunteers fund 85%-100% of their own travel, meal and lodging expenses.
  • The surgery allows these children to move from the shadows of society back into the light of the community.

Facts on the Organization

  • Number of Mission trips: 29
  • Number of Mission Volunteers: Over 700
  • Number of completed surgeries by the mission teams: Over 1,800
  • 24 children per year since 2004 have by treated through the Taghoy Facial Cleft Clinic of Ormoc as conducted by volunteer members of the Ormoc Medical Society and joint subsidy by Ormoc Sugar Planters’ and Uplift Internationale
  • Number of Hospitals in the Philippines that have hosted us on a rotational basis: 11 (Kalibo, Roxas, Pototan, San Jose, Iloilo City, Silay, Kabankalan, Tagbilaran, Ormoc, Tacloban, and Siargao)
  • Average mission volunteer teams for two week stay: 60
  • Our mission volunteers have come from the following states and countries: CO, AZ, CA, ID, FL, KS, MA, NE, NM, NC, NH, NY, OR, PA, TX, WA, WI, KY + Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, Belgium, Thailand and the United Kingdom