Did you know that 670 million people (10% of the world’s population) are visually impaired simply because they don’t have spectacles?
As an Optometrist that statistic really shocked me. I derive tremendous job satisfaction from giving my patients the best vision I possibly can. To imagine that number of people living with a visual disability simply because they don’t have access to the eye care services that we can access so readily on the high street both appalled and saddened me.
Stop and think about it for a moment. Do you wear spectacles? Does your partner/children/parents? How many everyday tasks would be rendered difficult or impossible if you didn’t have specs?
Over a year ago I became a member of Vision Aid Overseas, a fabulous charity who work for a world in which everyone has access to eye care, last year I attended a volunteer training day, and this October I will be spending 2 weeks in Uganda giving eye examinations and distributing spectacles. I am *beyond* ridiculously excited about it and practically bounce off the walls any time a fresh email from my team leader or communication from VAO arrives (My iPhone dictionary now recognises the word *Squeeee!*!!).
Many patients enter a VAO clinic functionally blind, having never had an eye exam due to lack of services or poverty.
The spectacles we dispense will enable children to go to school and, in a country where spectacles can make the difference between being able to work and being penniless, give parents a means to feed their family.
BUT….it’s not possible without your support! Over the next few months I’ll be working hard to fundraise for this project with a prize draw and coffee mornings at work, a “guess the number of sweets in the jar” competition, selling handmade cards, and popping up at various fetes or car boot sales to sell homemade cakes. I’ll be posting on my fundraising efforts here, and of course telling you all about the experience when I return, so watch this space!
In the meantime I have a Just Giving page set up for the Uganda Project. Please do visit it and contribute to this deserving project.
£5 will enable VAO to provide an eye examination and pair of specs
£10 will provide raw materials to make 3 pairs of spectacles at a VAO Vision Centre abroad
£22 will provide a day’s training for an eye care worker who will provide sustainable eye care