Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God provides connections for eye exams


One of the goals of our child sponsorship program in Guatemala is to meet the physical needs of the kids. We've been looking at things we can do to prevent illness and improve the health of the kids. All of them have been receiving vitamins each weekday at school and this summer we implemented daily brushing of teeth. Our teams were also able to purchase and give deworming medicine to the kids which will continue every 6 months. Team one was able to host a medical clinic for the children and their families where they learned that many of the kids were sick, even though they didn't appear to be.

Delmy had told us in the spring that a lot of the kids were complaining about their head hurting. She wondered if their vision was poor. Dr. Amy Harper of Kernersville, NC provided us with an eye chart and medicine for the kids. Our plans were to screen the kids and then hopefully find a place where those who needed further attention could receive a formal eye exam. One day I decided to check the vision center at Wal Mart to see how much an eye exam would cost. Our friend Francisco was with us and told me that his neighbor was an optometrist.
"I can call him and see how much he would charge to come to the school and give exams." he said.
Within minutes I overheard him talking to the optometrist and saying "100 kids." I almost freaked out.
"Francisco - I can't pay for 100 kids to have eye exams! We only need them for those that don't pass our screen." I exclaimed.
"Oh" he said. "Well, his price may increase if he's seeing less than 100 kids."

"What is the cost if he sees 100 kids?" I asked.

"$2.50".

Diana and I looked at each other and said "Tell him to come see all 100 kids!"

Can you believe that? $2.50 for a complete eye exam! The Optometrist came two days last week and will finish with all of the children and teachers this week. So far there are 25 children who need glasses. Can you imagine the difference in their learning when they can actually see? We have had some contributions to help pay for glasses but are still looking for some additional support. If you would like to contribute please visit our website (www.carolinespromise.net) and choose Make a donation. Make a one time gift toward Guatemala Orphan Projects and write "eyeglasses" in the comment box. Thank you for helping us improve the lives of the kids at Casita!