My name is Olivia Wells and I am a second year university student at Guelph. I’m taking International Development and hope to someday work for a charity or NGO like Transforming Faces. For the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to volunteer with Transforming Faces. It has been a super interesting and fun experience and I’ve learned a lot.

I first learned about Transforming Faces sometime last year. Although I was thoroughly enjoying my studies, I couldn’t help but wonder what charitable work looked like outside of the classroom. As a result I got in touch with Transforming Faces and expressed my interest in working with them.

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard back from them because they wanted to work with me as well and have me as a shadow in their office. Even though as a student it can feel somewhat impossible to get an organization to hear you out, Transforming Faces was more than willing to help me.

Since then I have been warmly welcomed into their office. I’ve had the chance to sit-in on and even contribute to meetings, do research projects, learn about all the technology and programs that go into making a charity work and more. I really appreciated the chance to meet individually with each member of Transforming Faces’ team. I feel like I have learned lots of invaluable information about some of the career options I have in the future, and what their day to day work involves.

Previous to this experience I knew nothing about cleft care or how life-changing it could be. Now I know so much more about it, including the importance of cleft care being comprehensive. This is what sticks out to me so much about Transforming Faces. I love that they use local partners in the countries they work in and consider other aspects of recovering from a cleft procedure, such as dental work or speech therapy.

It’s evident to me from all the effort they have put into making my time here valuable just how much thought they put into every aspect of their work. They are responsible and authentic about what they do. It inspires me to push myself to do the same and I would happily volunteer with them again.

Thank you Transforming Faces for this awesome experience!

About Olivia

Olivia is a second year student at the University of Guelph taking International Development. Her experiences abroad in the Dominican Republic and Malawi have encouraged her to pursue development as a career. She is passionate about helping others and is excited to be volunteering with Transforming Faces this summer.

If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities with Transforming Faces, please email