Partnership with Lions’ Club Gives the Gift of Sight
As is so often the case, Team Broken Earth sees new opportunities to improve quality of life with every mission. On this occasion, Lions’ Club was eager to help with a very special eyecare initiative in Haiti, where poverty ranks this beautiful nation at the bottom of most global lists for access to health services. When even life-saving emergency services can be hard to access, eyesight care is often completely neglected. Generations of families go without even a single eye exam, unable to afford this simple procedure that is frequently considered a luxury.
In 2016 alone, together these organizations have screened 1,128 patients and brought the gift of improved sight to over 760 people in Haiti and Nicaragua, as well as a number of new Canadians in St. John’s, NL.
In 2017, clinics have been held in Haiti (2), the Gathering Place in St. John’s (2) and an upcoming clinic in St. John’s at Choices for Youth. This enabled screenings of over 2000 patients and improved sight for over 1,000 people in need.
Lions Clubs are a global initiative, and so volunteers residing in the hosting nations took the chance to aid their global comrades, also facilitating an eye clinic in Nepal in May. There were 509 cataract procedures performed through the Team Broken Earth/ Lions partnership (The Dharan East Lions). Eyeglasses for these clinics are sourced primarily from the Multiple District “N”/CLERC satellite eyeglass facility established at the Bishop’s Falls Correctional Centre or CLERC in Calgary.
Frequently in developed nations, we take for granted that we can access eye exams and purchase glasses with the help of health insurance or family support. Proper eyesight is often a requisite for earning a living, and if not treated, poor eyesight can often be detriment not only to our health, but the ability to work and care for relatives. In less economically stable areas, like Haiti, eyesight and health is sadly sacrificed when low incomes pose a systemic barrier to medical attention. Improved eyesight is an empowering and liberating experience on many unexpected levels.
With the generous time and support of Lions volunteers, Team Broken Earth was able to lend a helping hand to empower those in need, this time with the gift of improved sight. If you had the chance to make someone’s life a little better, how would you use that chance?