Saturday, May 24, 2003

Eyeglasses Collection Helps Needy Balinese See Clearly

Eyeglasses Collection Helps Needy Balinese See Clearly

Bali, Indonesia (PRWEB) February 17, 2006

Hundreds of Balinese will have free access to clearer vision, thanks generous donors who recently contributed unwanted, used eyeglasses to the “I Can See Clearly” community drive.

Launched in October to collect used eyeglasses, the effort has since netted nearly 1,000 donated units to The John Fawcett Foundation/Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia (YKI). Donations were shipped, posted and hand carried by year-end visitors to Bali arriving from around the world, while local residents scoured drawers for out-of-date spectacles.

Once received, all donated eyeglasses are sorted according to usability. Of the recent donations, about 60 percent were deemed usable, a high ratio according to the foundation’s optometry workers. An optometry technician grades the lenses and standard lenses are retained. Non-standard lenses are removed and replaced with standard ones.

For poor Balinese farmers or school children in remote villages, good vision care is not an assumption—it is a luxury. YKI routinely conducts free vision checks among local schools and in mass village screenings. A surprisingly large percentage of people screened are identified as candidates for cataract surgery. An equally significant number of those screened have vision impairment, which can be aided with eyeglasses.

These patients may choose frames from the donated stock. Thus, these recently donated and processed glasses are immediately available to benefit patients—and at no cost to the recipient.

Used or unwanted eyeglasses or frames are continually accepted at designated points around the island. These points include: YKI, Lakimen Advertising, Bali Discovery Tours, BIMC, Tropical Homes, Jenggala Keramik, Bali Hotels Association, Sourcing Bali, The Works and Ary’s Warung. (A complete location address list follows).

Bulk shipments remain a logistical problem, but small quantity donations brought in with visitors luggage or posted have not been a problem.

The “I Can See Clearly” campaign is spearheaded by The Works communications consulting company in Bali as a community service.

The John Fawcett Foundation (JFF) & Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia (YKI)

YKI is the legal Indonesian arm of this Bali-based foundation, which is funded totally by donations and grants. The JFF is based in Australia. The Foundation conducts several programs for the health and welfare of Balinese in the lower socio-economic group, providing medical equipment, technology transfer, medical care and advice.

The Foundation’s Sight Restoration and Blindness Prevention programs includes mobile eye clinics for cataract surgery which operate in North Bali, across southern Bali and also in South Kalimantan. A training center for cataract surgery is being built in Denpasar. School and mass eye screening programs are conducted in Bali, as funding is available. The used eyeglasses and sunglasses collected from this drive will benefit needy people in Bali.

Other programs conducted by JFF/YKI include:

Children’s surgical reconstruction (cleft lip & palate and orthopedic surgery) Assistance to desperately ill children and young people Educational assistance Medical equipment acquisition and distribution Tuberculosis training programs Wheelchair provision

The John Fawcett Foundation is a National Heritage Foundation, and is supported by Harvey World Travel, Alcon Australia and many corporate and individual donors. Donations are fully tax deductible in Australia, the UK and the USA. Full details are available on the foundation website, www. balieye. org

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