Mobile Eye Clinic – Opportunity Through Eyesight
Eyesight is a huge challenge to communities, globally. Millions of people living in the developing world don’t have access to eyeglasses and face challenges with eyesight. This reduces the chance to succeed in school and beyond. A problem is that rural communities rarely get support or can they get to cities or towns for eye clinics.
The partnership project between Great Plains Foundation and 4x4Outfar in Botswana aims to give children in rural communities a better chance at life by providing a mobile eyesight screening service, eyeglasses and training the communities to screen, test and supply eyeglasses once they’ve left, so the support continues sustainably.
This last week, the Mobile Eye Clinic team moved through the five communities living on the fringe of the Okavango Delta in Botswana that Great Plains works closely with (Seronga, Gunotsoga, Eretsha, Beetsa and Gudigwa), screening children between the ages of 10 – 14 years old. They managed to screen 1,200 school kids and provided those who needed with eyeglasses.
Hear from Wapelo, who received glasses 3 years ago
Wapelo, who had been tested and given glasses in the 2019 trip by Great Plains and 4x4Outfar, came to share his progress with the team and thank them. In the years since he was given eyeglasses and has good vision, he has been able to use his hands and do detailed work with ease. He has also joined the Great Plains knitting club, run by Mama Kea – here he showcases the scarf he knitted.
With his new eyesight, Wapelo was able to sell the items he knitted and sold enough to buy himself a school uniform!
We are now in the planning and logistics stage of taking the Mobile Eyesight Clinic to Kenya to test and train schools and communities in the Masai Mara and Chyulu Hills regions. And, depending on funding, hope to also take the Clinic to communities in Zimbabwe.