Ruel Foundation
Making a better life for our kids
Ruel House
Life Changing
medical aid to children in need
* Phillippines
* Vanuatu
* Fiji
Crisis Center
Emergency medical treatment
* Malnourished Children
* Disaster Relief

Kindness can transform someone's dark moment with a blaze of light. You'll never know how much your caring matters. - Amy Leigh Mercree

Our Mission is to love heal cure children in desperate need.

item Children in need
item + You
item + Ruel
= Something Special

Our Story



In 1999, New Zealander, David Cowie, visited Eastern Samar in the Philippines and during a visit to a local hospital he came across a boy named Ruel. Ruel’s small, emaciated body lay on a simple steel bed in this under-staffed and under-resourced facility. His face was scarred by a double cleft lip and palate, causing serious difficulty in swallowing. With his tiny body wracked with viruses and infections, Ruel was near death.

With the help of locals, Ruel received the food supplements needed to sustain his life, whilst David raised the necessary funds for Ruel’s surgery. Ruel represents hundreds of thousands of forgotten and unwanted children suffering in isolated villages and towns in developing nations.

Ruel’s story was the founding of the Ruel Foundation and today the Ruel Foundation has helped thousands of children and their families throughout the South Pacific.

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Over 40 kids flash their new smiles in Philippines

It has been a busy month for Ruel Foundation Give a Smile with surgery outreaches complete; one in Philippines and one in Fiji. You have been a big part in seeing over 40 kids with new smiles and it would not be possible with your support. Behind the scenes these outreaches take us far and wide to find the children who need help. Each outreach starts several months before it happens and involves meetings with governors, mayors and hospitals in the regions. We put the word out on the radio, on banners and use a combination of our database and visiting health centers to make sure these surgeries available to as many children as possible. 

The day of the operations is, as our Philippines National Director Pauline Curtis-Smith says, "wonderful chaos!" It is full on with rechecking every child, admitting them and having them in the right place at the right times. There's often a shortage of beds in the hospital so working out how to fit everyone in makes for tricky work. This time around we had 42 children in the Philippines walk out with new smiles. Operations run over two days with everyone onboard until 10pm at night, then up again at 6am. 

As well as their new smile, the children walk out with a soft toy and bible; the surgical wound is cleaned throughly and parents are given instructions on how to care for it and when to return for suture removal. But, it doesn't end there. Most of the children need a second or third operation so are kept in our database to follow up with. 

All the 42 children from the end of March outreach are recovering well with no infections and great results. Christopher was one of the children, his mother told us she had seen the banner up advertising the surgeries and wanted to bring her son but sadly was unable to afford the transport - a p50 (US$1) cost. When he arrived at school on the day he was meant to have his pre check his teacher asked why he was at school and not at the check. Christopher told her that his mum had a baby and no money. Amazingly, his teacher decided to bring him herself so with his mom’s permission she not only brought him to the pre check, but to the operation itself and the post operation check. The results of the operation were so amazing all the teachers began to cry when Christopher showed them his new smile. 

But there's more work to do! We have another outreach coming up in July and November. We will keep you updated with the details of these as we move into the year and would love any support you are able to provide. 

Thank YOU once again for your support to make this happen! 

If you want to get involved, click here to donate or click here to sponsor a child. 




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'The Shack' movie night

You're Invited to a private screening of

Come along to The Shack on Wednesday, 28th June for a relaxing night out and a chance to Give a Smile.

The Shack tells the story of Mack Philips who, after suffering a great family tragedy, spirals into deep depression. He begins to question his innermost beliefs and facing a crisis of faith, he embarks on the journey of a lifetime. A mysterious letter urges Mack to visit an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Though doubtful of the purpose, Mack meets an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa and finds important truths that transform his understanding of his tragedy, changing his life forever. 

You'll be treated to nibbles and a great excuse to get out for the evening during these cold winter months! We can't wait to see you there. 

June 28th, 2017 7:30pm to 10:00pm

Rialto Cinemas Tauranga
21 Devonport Rd
Tauranga, BOP 3110
New Zealand

Click here to register for the evening.


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