Sight Aid International
Sight Aid International is a charity that has been set up to help raise awareness of eye care problems and help educate people on the importance of regular eye examinations and the need for corrective spectacles.
Sight Aid International is unique as it aims to promote eye care awareness especially at the young and elderly, unlike most sight charities which care for those suffering eye problems, i.e. sight loss, etc. The background and experience the staff has in eye care and the industry as a whole will greatly enhance and benefit the development and services within the charity.
Through a range of information, seminars and tours it will aim to reduce the levels of eye problems in young and elderly and assist people in Africa through its well established links with the Eye care industry and its retail outlets.
The charity is currently making a difference to peoples lives in Kenya by offering free eye tests and free prescription spectacles to those of low or no income who require corrective spectacles.
The clinic is in place in the Jesuit Hakimani Centre in Nairobi overseen by Fr. Ignatius Ikunza, SJ. The clinic has already tested over 300 people in need of eye care. The charity will provide free spectacles to the children first via Sean Walls Eyecare Centre in East Kilbride.
What We Do in Kenya
We are in the process of setting up a mobile medical clinic in Nairobi, in conjunction with Mirembe, an organization that has been set up with the Jesuits, where we will be offering free eye tests and free prescription spectacles, if required, to those of low or no income. We also have some doctors who are willing to donate their time to offer a free health check. Free health care is not available in Kenya, and to many, it is a luxury they cannot afford. This project has been in the making for the last two years and is now finally coming to fruition.
During Sean’s recent visit to Nairobi, he attended a few children’s projects and quickly identified a need for basic goods that many of us take for granted. We have now set up a programme whereby we collect and send children’s educational material, including pencils, pens, books, games etc. Donations of clothing and shoes are also being gratefully accepted.
We will also purchase and supply anti-bacterial eye drops to those with eye infections. Nairobi, as a city, is very dusty and some areas do not have clean/running water. These areas are four times above the national average to develop eye infections. For as little as £1, we can supply 6 bottles of eye drops. This can go a long way to clearing up these infections. In a country that has a daily salary of £3, £1 for eye drops can be a luxury. We aim to change that.
What We Do in Scotland
Sight Aid International is offering tours and presentations to local schools and church/youth groups on the importance of eye health and the need for corrective spectacles. This will include a presentation by an Optometrist on all aspects of the eye examination and should last about 30 minutes. The Optometrist will outline what happens during an eye examination from reading the letters from the chart to photographing the back of the eye. They will describe what is being looked for at each stage of the eye-test and explain why it is so important to get your eyes tested to ensure your eyes are healthy.
There will also be a tour of the spectacle manufacturing lab, demonstrating how spectacles are produced. This will show each process involved during spectacle lens manufacture and again, the equipment used. This will be done in a safe but interactive way, and should last for around 30 minutes.
For the school tours, we will focus on eradicating bullying which unfortunately can be common to spectacle-wearing pupils, by sensitising the other pupils on the need for wearing spectacles. This programme is being developed with the help of respectme, an organisation that specialise in anti-bullying behaviour.
The final part will be a presentation on the projects that we are currently developing in Kenya. We have recently embarked on a pilot scheme that will involve testing 200 children in Kibera, the second biggest slum in Africa, and supplying corrective spectacles to those who require them. If this initiative proves to be successful, we will test a further 6000 kids over the next 2 years.
© 2010 Sight Aid International is a charity registered in Scotland, No. SC041334
Sight Aid International