We are very happy to report that our visiting eye-care team has returned to the UK safely. It was a full and busy two weeks! Thanks to all in Malawi who made us welcome and who helped us along the way. We’ll be posting more about how the eye care services are developing, as well as what the challenges are, and what opportunities are opening up.
This year’s visiting team has departed for Malawi. They’re seen here at Heathrow Terminal 2 with baggage stuffed to the limit with donated glasses and equipment for the clinics, as well as text books for the students we’re sponsoring. The volunteer team includes clinical staff from Essex County Hospital eye department at Colchester — and their cameraman.
Their first task on arrival will be to pick up (from our import agent) the autorefractor donated by Rotary Club of Colchester Trinity (see previous posts), and take it to the mission hospital at Embangweni. Other tasks will include: reviewing progress, needs and concerns with staff and managers at the Embangweni, Ekwendeni and Livingstonia hospitals; doing training; and meeting the students we’re sponsoring. They might actually see some patients, but that’s not such a pressing need now, with local staff running round-the-year clinics.
Next stop: Lilongwe. Here’s the autorefractor, donated by Rotary Club of Colchester Trinity, being checked by a freight services company in Hayes, near Heathrow, before being flown out to our agents in Malawi.
Many complex factors contribute to poverty, but one simple contribution to fighting it is to help people to see better, so they can study and work. In fact, worldwide, half of all sight problems can be solved by using glasses to aid reading and close work. So join us on Friday 20 April in Colchester to help prepare another batch of secondhand glasses to send to our mission partners in Malawi. Starts 19:30 and there’ll be plenty of refreshments to keep you going. For more details, phone 01206 622712.
On Wednesday, the Rotary Club of Colchester Trinity hosted a dinner at which they formally presented us with an auto-refractor, for use in the clinics we support in Malawi. Our thanks go to Mike Poole, the president, and members of the club for this generous donation. Big thanks too, to Alistair and Jackie Keeble, members at the Rotary and stalwarts of our Goggle Works events, who masterminded the fund-raising.