Grey Mist Lifting

A Weekly Blog About Lives Changed Through Eye Care

Inesh (left), a teacher in India, is happy to be back at work after one of his former students referred him for cataract surgery.

Inesh (left), a teacher in India, is happy to be back at work after one of his former students referred him for cataract surgery.

Thanks to our generous donors, we’re making long-term, sustainable differences in the countries where we work. We recently published our 2015 Report to Donors, and we’re very excited to tell you about the incredible work our donors helped make possible last year.

This week, we’ll highlight our work in India. Stay tuned for more updates on Ghana, Kenya and Zambia in the weeks to come!

Our India programs were well-established for 52 years in 2015, and over the course of the year, they continued to expand significantly in terms of partners, projects and results. We partnered with 55 eye hospitals across 15 states, and became the only INGO to work in India’s remote state of Jammu and Kashmir.

We re-launched our work in Bihar, another region with a high prevalence of blindness; and we also launched our first community-based rehabilitation project in the slums of Bangalore.

We expanded our community eye health projects to 42, and in collaboration with our partners, declared our 50th village in India as avoidable blindness-free. By the end of 2015, a total of 66 villages were confirmed free of avoidable blindness!

We also launched a new approach calledParticipatory Approach to Community Eye Health” in all our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Programs to involve the community in all aspects of our projects.

Thanks to support from the Edmonton Public Teachers’ Charity Trust Fund, we developed an operational manual for our Vision Centres, an innovative concept that continues to gain traction in all our countries of intervention. Our 71 Vision Centres are spread across 42 districts in India, bringing quality and sustainable eye care to the communities we serve. A full 75 percent of our Vision Centres are financially self-sustaining.

One of the year’s major highlights occurred in September, when we were proud to inaugurate the Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer. Located within the renowned L V Prasad Eye Institute, this centre of excellence for eye cancers will serve not only India but other countries in Southeast Asia. With the support of a generous Canadian donor family, we’ll be able to provide quality, comprehensive cancer treatment for children and adults at low or no cost to them. Thanks to our donors, the Institute will save countless lives with its early detection and integrated treatment programs.

And last but certainly not least, after being established as an Indian fundraising entity in 2014, our team began fundraising efforts with local donors and corporations in 2015.

We were fortunate to confirm financial support from Pellucid Inc. to equip 50 of our Vision Centres with computer technology, and we received 16,600 eyeglass lenses from Essilor Vision Foundation to be distributed through our community eye health projects to those who cannot afford them. We look forward to significant growth in local fundraising during the 2016 year!

Compared to the previous year, our results for 2015 are particularly dramatic: 100 percent increase in surgeries performed; 50 percent increase in screenings; 60 percent increase in primary health care services; and 100 percent increase in health education over 2014. And it’s all thanks to our amazing donors!

Compared to the previous year, our results for 2015 are particularly dramatic: 100 percent increase in surgeries performed; 50 percent increase in screenings; 60 percent increase in primary health care services; and 100 percent increase in health education over 2014. And it’s all thanks to our amazing donors!

To read our full 2015 Report to Donors, click here. To help us give the gift of sight to even more people in 2016, please make a donation. As always, thank you for your support!

It’s true, many hands make light work – and we’re incredibly grateful for the many volunteer hands in our Calgary office. We currently have 18 office volunteers who help us with various projects on a weekly basis. They do everything from folding tax receipts to producing videos, approaching each task with a fun, can-do attitude.

In 2015, volunteers personally called 1,700 donors and hand-wrote over 1,500 “thank you” cards! Because of them, we’re able to reach out to you, our donors, more often and manage administrative tasks more effectively than would otherwise be possible. This means that ultimately we’re able to bring in more dollars for our cause and give the gift of sight to more people in need.

A heartfelt thank you, volunteers, for donating your time and talent to Operation Eyesight. Together, we’re doing great things – for all the world to see!

From left to right: volunteers Donna, Mona, Dianne and Claudia.

From left to right: volunteers Donna, Mona, Dianne and Claudia.

From left to right: volunteers Fikayo, Norma and Efosa.

From left to right: volunteers Fikayo, Norma and Efosa.

Each day, we update the chalkboard at our office in celebration of our wonderful volunteers. We’d like to thank the following office volunteers for their support over the past year: Candice, Catherine, Claudia, Dianne, Donna, Efosa, Fikayo, Gul, Julie, Laurie, Linda, Mona, Mutsumi, Norma, Shannon, Sharmilah, Shawn, Sheila, Shreya, Sylvia, Veronique, Wendy and William.

Each day, we update the chalkboard at our office in celebration of our wonderful volunteers. We’d like to thank the following office volunteers for their support over the past year: Candice, Catherine, Claudia, Dianne, Donna, Efosa, Fikayo, Gul, Julie, Laurie, Linda, Mona, Mutsumi, Norma, Shannon, Sharmilah, Shawn, Sheila, Shreya, Sylvia, Veronique, Wendy and William.

We also have many volunteers who help with various events and festivals throughout the year. Most recently, volunteers helped us spread the word about Operation Eyesight at Calgary’s Lilac Festival. Monica (left) handed out bubble gum and information, while Catherine (far right) helped Brittany (a member of our Philanthropy team) staff our photo booth.

We also have many volunteers who help with various events and festivals throughout the year. Most recently, volunteers helped us spread the word about Operation Eyesight at Calgary’s Lilac Festival. Monica (left) handed out bubble gum and information, while Catherine (far right) helped Brittany (a member of our Philanthropy team) staff our photo booth.

If you’d like to learn more about volunteer opportunities in Calgary, contact Blaire at macnicolb@operationeyesight.com.

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Atul received cataract surgery and a brand new pair of prescription eyeglasses, all thanks to our incredible donors! Thank you!

Atul received cataract surgery and a brand new pair of prescription eyeglasses, all thanks to our incredible donors! Thank you!

Atul and his family live in a semi-permanent home in Jogyal, a remote village located in the drought-prone district of Latur, India.

When he was eight years old, one of Atul’s classmates accidently hit him in the eye with a pencil. He felt pain right away, but then things seemed to get better… for a while.

Thinking his injury was normal, his parents saw no need to seek medical attention. Slowly, Atul’s vision began to blur. Soon, he couldn’t see out of his one eye. It was then that his parents took him to a private eye hospital.

The doctor explained that Atul had developed a mature cataract and needed surgery. His parents were frightened – more by the cost of treatment than the diagnosis. The cataract surgery would cost 25,000 Indian rupees ($487 CAD), which they certainly couldn’t afford.

Instead, they took Atul to an optical shop for a pair of eyeglasses. The glasses seemed to help initially, but they weren’t the treatment Atul so desperately needed to restore his sight.

For six years, Atul lived with a cataract in one eye, which worsened over time. “It was a tough time for me,” he says. “I thought I would go blind and wouldn’t live long.”

He had difficulties studying and reading the chalkboard at school, but he didn’t dare tell his friends or teachers. What if they made fun of him?

Atul suffered silently. His grades began to fall, and he started skipping school.

“I used to love going to school and meeting my friends,” he explains. “I was popular in my class and teachers liked me, but then I started performing poorly on exams and my teachers scolded me. I couldn’t play cricket or other sports with my friends, and my parents lost confidence in me.”

Luckily, Atul’s village was selected to be part of a Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Project, a partnership between Operation Eyesight and Udaygiri Lions Eye Hospital in the nearby town of Udgir. During a door-to-door survey, a community health worker discovered Atul had poor vision. A short time later, an optometrist visited the village and confirmed Atul’s diagnosis.

After much counselling from the optometrist, community health workers, village leaders and his teachers, Atul agreed to go to the hospital for cataract surgery. Thanks to Operation Eyesight’s generous donors, he finally received the treatment he needed – all at no cost to his family. He also received a free new pair of prescription eyeglasses.

Atul says he’s grateful for all of the support he received from his family and community. From left to right: Atul’s grandmother, Atul’s mother, Atul and two community health workers.

Atul says he’s grateful for all of the support he received from his family and community. From left to right: Atul’s grandmother, Atul’s mother, Atul and two community health workers.

“I can now go to school, play with my friends and concentrate on my studies,” he says. “My parents are happy with me. I can fulfil my dreams now!”

Atul, now 14 years old, aspires to help others overcome their fear of eye surgery so they don’t have to suffer like he did for so many years.

“I’m deeply indebted to all those who never gave up on me,” he says. “They visited me continuously for a week, spoke to village leaders and school teachers, and motivated me to go to the hospital. The community health worker and eye doctor even visited me after the surgery. I’m so thankful!”

Because of our amazing donors, Atul can now enjoy all of the things a teen should be able to enjoy! You can help more teens like him by supporting our community outreach programs. Please donate today.

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: Last year, Operation Eyesight conducted an eye screening at Lukhuna Primary School in Kenya. Thanks to the screening, Deborah (left) and Claries (right) each received a pair of brand new prescription eyeglasses. Today, they’re happy, studious teenagers – and it’s all because of generous donors like you!

Last year, Operation Eyesight conducted an eye screening at Lukhuna Primary School in Kenya. Thanks to the screening, Deborah (left) and Claries (right) each received a pair of brand new prescription eyeglasses. Today, they’re happy, studious teenagers – and it’s all because of generous donors like you!

I can’t believe it’s almost June already! I remember when my kids were still in school, they’d be getting pretty antsy around this time. They just wanted to be outside enjoying the nicer weather, and most of their after-school activities were starting to wind down.

I also remember running around trying to find that perfect end-of-the-year gift for their teachers. What do you get for the people who have dedicated so much of their time and energy to the betterment of your children? They probably have more than enough apple-themed knickknacks, and a person can only eat so much chocolate or drink so many cups of coffee.

And then there were the other caring adults in my children’s lives, like their scout leaders, coaches and piano instructor. I wanted to show them my appreciation, too. Fortunately, I found a unique and truly meaningful way to recognize these special adults: with a tribute gift.

A tribute gift is when you make a donation in someone else’s name – and it’s a great way to say “thank you” to a teacher or coach, while at the same time making a difference in the lives of those living in developing countries.

Your $20 donation can provide prescription eyeglasses for up to three children living in Africa or Southeast Asia. Your gift of $35 can help provide primary eye care training for teachers and others in the local community, so they can identify those with eye health issues and refer them for appropriate eye care.

When you make a tribute gift to Operation Eyesight, you can choose to send an eCard directly to the recipient. Or, you can request to have a beautiful greeting card mailed to your home so your child can give it to the recipient in person.

Imagine the look on their teacher’s face when she or he learns that they’ve given the gift of sight to someone living halfway across the world! Imagine how honoured their coach will be to know that he or she is truly making a difference in the lives of others, near and far.

Browse our online Gift Guide today and give the gift that gives twice! Thank you for your support – and happy June!

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Like many developing countries, Ghana faces inadequate access to eye health services, which is why we’ve been working there since 2006. Our Ghana team knows that many people are fearful of accessing eye health care because of lack of awareness, poor service, distance, affordability and long wait times.

Thanks to funding from our partner Seeing is Believing, our staff worked with a local communications agency to develop print advertisements and television commercials (see samples below) that build awareness of avoidable blindness.

The ads encourage Ghanaians to treat blindness as an enemy – being fearful of it because it can destroy their livelihood, while being grateful that there is help available to effectively combat avoidable blindness. Good news: our team has noted an increase in eye surgeries in the areas where the ads are running!

One of our four print advertisements running in Ghana.

One of our four print advertisements running in Ghana.

Awareness-building is vital to all of our community eye health programs. Please help us reach more people by donating to our outreach programs today. Thank you for your support!

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We first told you about Majuli Island back in Spring 2014. Located in India’s remote state of Assam, it’s home to 168,000 people. Before Operation Eyesight launched a Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program there in 2012, the island had no eye care at all.

Thanks to a video documentary created by our Canadian intern Adrian Parlow, you can check in on our community health workers, hospital partner and the people of Majuli and see how we’re doing!

Operation Eyesight’s hospital partner for Majuli is Chandraprabha Eye Hospital, located in Jorhat, Assam. Established in 2005, the hospital was our first Non-Financial Technical Partnership. It’s now one of the most reputable hospitals in the region, houses two prestigious training schools and performs 4,200 surgeries annually.

Together, Operation Eyesight and Chandraprabha set out to eliminate avoidable blindness on Majuli Island. When our locally-hired community health workers began a comprehensive survey, they found that gender discrimination, vitamin A deficiency, poor sanitation, malnutrition and other issues all compounded the lack of eye health care.

Based on the survey, the project team and hospital management developed plans to tackle cataracts, blindness and other eye problems. To date, almost 3,800 people from the island have undergone surgery to restore their sight, over 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses have been dispensed and 83,500 people have attended health education workshops. Immunization of children under five and coverage of antenatal and postnatal care have all reached 85 percent.

In 2015, we were able to declare a total of 21 avoidable blindness-free villages on Majuli! Although there is much more to do, none of this work would be possible without our amazing donors. Thanks to donor support, people in places like Majuli Island no longer have to live in darkness; they have been given the gift of sight!

Watch Adrian’s full 30-minute documentary here. Thanks to Adrian for helping us see the impact of this important project!

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Last fall, world leaders adopted the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All of us in the eye health community have an important role to play in achieving these global goals, particularly Goals 1 through 6. Read on to learn how Operation Eyesight’s work to eliminate avoidable blindness is helping transform the world.

Subhas climbing a date tree

SDG #1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere. About 90 percent of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings. If people can’t see, they can’t work to earn a living. By preventing blindness and restoring sight, we’re helping people keep their jobs or return to work. The more people we help, the more communities thrive and the closer we are to breaking the cycle of poverty.

We’re also helping the world end poverty through our work to eliminate the eye disease trachoma. Those blinded by trachoma get trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, which in turn can destroy the economic well-being of entire communities. It’s estimated that, globally, trachoma results in US$2.9 billion in lost productivity per year. Fortunately, we’re implementing a strategy in Zambia and Kenya that’s proven effective in eliminating trachoma. Click here to learn more.

We’re also helping the world end poverty through our work to eliminate the eye disease trachoma. Those blinded by trachoma get trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, which in turn can destroy the economic well-being of entire communities. It’s estimated that, globally, trachoma results in US$2.9 billion in lost productivity per year. Fortunately, we’re implementing a strategy in Zambia and Kenya that’s proven effective in eliminating trachoma. Click here to learn more.

SDG #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Did you know that malnutrition contributes to avoidable blindness? We’re particularly concerned with vitamin A deficiency, especially in children. Up to 500,000 children go blind each year as a result of this condition. Sadly, half of those children die within 12 months of going blind. We’re working to distribute vitamin A supplements to those in need. Learn more here.

SDG #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Our programs are designed to provide quality eye care to all, regardless of age, gender or ability to pay. Through our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program, local community health workers are trained to conduct door-to-door surveys, identify eye health issues, refer patients for treatment, and educate the community on eye health and general health. As a result, we’re able to provide eye care to those who would otherwise go unreached, and communities become healthier and stronger.

SDG #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Our programs are designed to provide quality eye care to all, regardless of age, gender or ability to pay. Through our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program, local community health workers are trained to conduct door-to-door surveys, identify eye health issues, refer patients for treatment, and educate the community on eye health and general health. As a result, we’re able to provide eye care to those who would otherwise go unreached, and communities become healthier and stronger.

#4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all. When children can see, they can read and go to school! Our school eye screening programs allow us to identify children who are struggling with low vision or other eye health issues. We can then provide them with the prescription eyeglasses or other treatment needed to restore their sight. We’ve even trained teachers in Kenya to use a smartphone app to test their students’ vision. Learn more here.

#4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.
When children can see, they can read and go to school! Our school eye screening programs allow us to identify children who are struggling with low vision or other eye health issues. We can then provide them with the prescription eyeglasses or other treatment needed to restore their sight. We’ve even trained teachers in Kenya to use a smartphone app to test their students’ vision. Learn more here.

Thank you!

Another way we’re helping children get a quality education is by providing communities with fresh, safe water through our trachoma programs (see SDG #6 below). Clean water is scarce in many rural communities in Zambia and Kenya. Children, typically girls, are tasked with fetching water for their families, often having to walk several kilometres to the nearest source. By providing villages with a safe water source nearby, we allow children to spend their time in school rather than fetching water. Even better, a dependable water source often attracts teachers and encourages communities to build new schools!

SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Our programs in India and Africa are designed to involve both men and women. In fact, almost all of the community health workers we’ve trained in India are female. We empower women to find solutions to their eye care needs and develop eye health programs that will benefit their entire community. In addition, by eliminating the threat of blindness, we improve a woman’s ability to become an active participant in her community and contribute to her family’s socioeconomic stability.

SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Our programs in India and Africa are designed to involve both men and women. In fact, almost all of the community health workers we’ve trained in India are female. We empower women to find solutions to their eye care needs and develop eye health programs that will benefit their entire community. In addition, by eliminating the threat of blindness, we improve a woman’s ability to become an active participant in her community and contribute to her family’s socioeconomic stability.

Clean water and proper hygiene help prevent the spread of trachoma, which otherwise spreads easily through contact with eye discharge from infected people’s hands, towels and clothing, and through direct transmission by flies. Fresh water and sanitation also dramatically improve the general health and prosperity of the whole community.

SDG #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Providing communities with fresh water is an important part of our work to prevent blindness. In Kenya and Zambia, we develop wells and boreholes and educate communities on the importance of hygiene. With fresh water to wash their hands, faces and clothing, people are able to prevent the spread of the bacterial infection that causes blinding trachoma. Even better, improved sanitation aids in the reduction of other serious illnesses such as diarrheal disease, upper-respiratory infections and malaria. Learn more about our trachoma projects here.

Together with our donors, we’re helping the world reach its goals to end poverty, promote healthy living and ensure prosperity for everyone. With your ongoing support, we’ll continue our work to eliminate avoidable blindness, contributing to a sustainable future for us all. Thank you!

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Shakila is happy that she can see again! She’s had cataract surgery on one eye and plans to have the other eye operated on soon.

Shakila is happy that she can see again! She’s had cataract surgery on one eye and plans to have the other eye operated on soon.

Shakila, 52, lives in Bhopal, India. A widow, she works hard to support her two daughters as best she can through a variety of small jobs. She washes dishes and helps local farmers at the market by cleaning wheat and rice or grooming animals.

But these tasks became extremely difficult when her vision started to blur due to cataract in both eyes. As the cataracts matured, she became almost completely blind. In the late evenings on her way home from the market, she couldn’t see anything at all; she’d often fall down in the street several times as she slowly made her way through the darkness.

Eventually she couldn’t even clean crops at the market anymore, losing her family’s last source of income. Sadly, she suffered like this for five years, having neither the time nor the money to seek treatment.

Fortunately, help came to her when our partner hospital in Bhopal, Aman Advanced Eye Hospital (AAEH), implemented its Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program, which was developed by Operation Eyesight to help hospitals like AAEH reach more people in need of eye care.

The first stage of this program involves a door-to-door survey of every household in the target area. Community health workers, who live and work in the local community, screen residents for eye problems, educate them on the importance of eye health, and encourage them to use local health care services.

When Nagma, a community health worker, arrived at Shakila’s door and discovered her condition, she empathized with her and made it her mission to ensure Shakila got the treatment she needed.

While some hospitals in India offer free, government-sponsored cataract surgeries to poor patients like Shakila, AAEH is in the ironic position of having a government hospital nearby, so it’s ineligible to receive government subsidy. To make matters worse, the government’s facilities are severely lacking and provide only a few free surgeries per month, meaning the majority of poor patients go untreated.

Thanks to Operation Eyesight-trained community health workers, patients like Shakila (centre) can be identified and referred for treatment.

Thanks to Operation Eyesight-trained community health workers, patients like Shakila (centre) can be identified and referred for treatment.

In Shakila’s case, it was Nagma’s close relationship with the local community that allowed her to get the cataract surgery she so desperately needed. As a resident of the community herself, Nagma knew Shakila’s landlord and neighbours well, and she encouraged them to contribute the money needed to pay for one of Shakila’s operations.

Today, Shakila is a whole new person! She’s grateful to have vision in one eye again and is back at work at the market, saving up money so she can get her other eye operated on soon. With her dignity and independence restored, she’s also taking on new types of work to improve her standard of living.

Her wish is for Operation Eyesight’s hospital partners and donors to continue helping those in need. “The smallest help can have the most valuable results,” she says.  

Thanks to our generous donors, we’re able to support hospitals like AAEH and provide training for community health workers like Nagma. This means we’re able to reach patients like Shakila who would otherwise go needlessly blind. Please consider contributing to our outreach programs so we can give the gift of sight to even more people.

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: Our generous donors have helped many children like Darrel regain their vision! [Photo by Ronald Kefa.]

Our generous donors have helped many children like Darrel regain their vision! [Photo by Ronald Kefa.]

Look at the eyes of this beautiful baby! This is little Darrel. Just over 18 months old, he lives with his family in a low income community outside Nairobi, Kenya.

When Darrel was nine months old, his mother Beatrice noticed a problem with her baby’s eyes. They were always filled with tears and looked sore and red. Darrel’s irises also appeared larger than usual, and he had trouble focusing on objects.

Worried, Beatrice took her son to a local health centre. The doctor referred Darrel to a hospital near Nairobi, which in turn referred him to a pediatric eye unit. There, Beatrice learned that Darrel had glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve because of high eye pressure.

“I was shocked to learn this condition would gradually make Darrel blind,” Beatrice told our staff. “I wanted so badly to have him treated, but it was very difficult because of our financial situation.”

Beatrice also worried that if her son became blind, she would need to take care of him for the rest of his life. “My prayer was that my child could grow up and live an independent life.”

Fortunately, our Kenya team met Beatrice during the 2015 Standard Chartered Bank Nairobi Marathon. As a proud member of the bank’s Seeing is Believing funding initiative, Operation Eyesight had a booth to promote eye health awareness at the marathon.

Darrel and his mother two months after his operation. Today, he’s a happy, healthy toddler! [Photo by Ronald Kefa.]

Darrel and his mother two months after his operation. Today, he’s a happy, healthy toddler! [Photo by Ronald Kefa.]

Beatrice noticed the booth, approached our staff and asked them to examine Darrel. Her son was given an urgent referral to one of our partner eye units, and Darrel’s beautiful brown eyes were operated upon in January 2016. Luckily, the surgeries were performed at no cost to the family, thanks to the support of our funder Seeing is Believing.

Today, Beatrice is very happy! “The doctors have assured me that Darrel’s condition has been contained and will not worsen anymore. I’m sure he will grow to fulfill the dreams we have for him!” She and her family are grateful to everyone who ensured that her baby’s vision was saved.

She also has a message for our donors: “I appreciate the generosity of those who donated their money so that children like my son are treated free of charge. You know that operations are very costly and therefore unaffordable to low income earners. May God bless you abundantly!”

You can help us give the gift of sight to more children like Darrell. Please consider making a donation to help provide the medicine and supplies needed to treat causes of avoidable blindness. Thank you for your support!

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Anup Zimba, Operation Eyesight’s Senior Program Manager (far left) and the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise in the mountains of Jammu.

Anup Zimba, Operation Eyesight’s Senior Program Manager (far left), and the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise in the mountains of Jammu.

Last year, Operation Eyesight became the first and only NGO in the eye health sector to work in the challenging state called Jammu and Kashmir, India – and it’s all because of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise!

Many people in this mountainous state live in remote areas with no roads, making it extremely difficult to reach eye care services. Thanks to Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club, we launched a Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program in partnership with the Rotary Eye Hospital in Udhampur to overcome this barrier.

Locally trained community eye health workers who know their way around Udhampur are able to screen residents living in remote areas and refer those with eye health problems for treatment. Patients who require surgery are transported by bus to the hospital.

Club members trekking through the mountainous region of Udhampur. Many people live in remote locations where there are no roads, just pathways like the one you see here. [Photos by Santosh Moses.]

Club members trekking through the mountainous region of Udhampur. Many people live in remote locations where there are no roads, just pathways like the one you see here.

Over the past year, 70,000 people have been surveyed. Of those, 1,900 were diagnosed with cataract and another 3,500 received a free pair of prescription eyeglasses.

In February, the Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club travelled from their Ontario home to Udhampur to see our projects first-hand. Here’s what the members had to say:

  • “I was very impressed with the quality of the staff. All seemed extremely competent and very motivated. We felt very comfortable that the project is in good hands!” – J.D
  • “I was totally awed by the work Operation Eyesight is doing and planning to do in India – both the quality and commitment of the staff and the volume of the work being done.” – M.D.
  • “It was very touching to see how our efforts impact the daily lives of those less fortunate.” – J.M.
  • “I vividly recall a villager who was functionally blind due to cataracts. Surgery allowed him to change his life from being a dependent to being a provider for his family.” – A.P.
  • “Thank you for the opportunity to share in the dream of Dr. Gullison, the vision of Art Jenkyns, and the ongoing work of your team.” – J.W.
  • “There can be no greater gift than to restore someone’s sight so they can regain independence and a productive life.” – S.M.

The Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club has been supporting Operation Eyesight for 20 years and will continue to fundraise for projects in Udamphur, including a dinner planned for October 1. If you’re in the Simcoe area and would like to get tickets, be sure to check norfolksunrise.org for updates.

Thank you, Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club, for your dedicated support – and thank you, John Wallace, for sharing your Club’s story with us. Rotarians truly are making a difference in the lives of others… for all the world to see!  

Santosh Moses, Operation Eyesight’s Country Manager of India (far left), members of Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club and staff from Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital in the slums of Delhi and Noida. The Club had the opportunity to visit several of our projects in India.

Santosh Moses, Operation Eyesight’s Country Manager of India (far left), members of Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club and staff from Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital in the slums of Delhi and Noida. The Club had the opportunity to visit several of our projects in India. [Photos by Santosh Moses.]

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