Manny*, a little boy from the Philippines was one of the tens of thousands of women, children and men who lost everything when tropical cyclone Yolanda smashed into his homeland last November.
“Eye care facilities in the area have been totally destroyed. There is no way to get even simple reading glasses at the moment,” reported Dr. Suraj Upadhyaya who represented Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) and its donors and sponsors as part of a volunteer emergency response team that went to the Philippines in late January. “People were busy restoring what is left behind, building their houses and other infrastructure but it is difficult for them to do so with the absence of their glasses.”
The Optometric outreach team was coordinated by Dr. Marina Roma-March from Third World Eye Care Society (TWECS) in Canada and comprised volunteers from U.S.A, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Malawi. More than 8,000 people received glasses as a result of their efforts.
This is just one of many amazing projects that have been supported by Optometry Giving Sight. That’s why EyePromise recently signed on to sponsor the charity. Said EyePromise company President Chris Barber, “We’re thrilled to sponsor Optometry Giving Sight and eager to participate in the World Sight Day Challenge.”
OGS, a global fundraising initiative, targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error (URE). Established by the World Council of Optometry, the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in 2003, the organization mobilizes support from the global eye care profession and industry to help the backlog of people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired.
Seeing well empowers adults and children to succeed in work, school, and life. Access to eye care from trained eye care professionals allows for early detection of health issues like diabetes and other conditions that can rob people of their vision if left untreated.
According to OGS, more than 600 million people around the world don’t have access to the eye care and eyewear they need. To date, the charity has funded 67 projects in 38 countries.
The World Sight Day Challenge, run by OGS, is now in its seventh year. The campaign goal is to raise $1 million globally this 2014. “We are excited to be contributing towards this year’s fundraising goal,” said Barber. “Those funds will change a huge number of lives.”
Are you interested in helping out this charity? We’ve got a few ways to help. We’ll tackle those in an upcoming post!