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Humanity First USA Partners With ReSpectacle to Give Gift of Sight

Since 2010, the Humanity First USA Gift of Sight team has been traveling abroad to provide free eye care treatment in underserved communities. In October 2011, a team of doctors and volunteers traveled to Proyecto Salud y Paz in Chichicastenango, Guatemala for the annual Gift of Sight eye camp.

The 2011 trip introduced an optometry component to the camp. The optometry clinic was set up and directed by optometrist Dr. Amna Malik. Patients traveled to different stations to have their vision examined by Dr. Amna Malik and other Humanity First USA volunteers. Over 125 patients received free full eye exams and prescription eyeglasses that were donated by Lions Club International; several patients were referred to the surgery camp. While most patients were able to receive recycled eyeglasses, there were several patients in the optometry clinic with prescriptions that were difficult to match from the donated pairs. With the support of ReSpectacle, the Gift of Sight volunteers were able to find glasses for these individuals.

ReSpectacle is a non-profit organization that facilitates the redistribution of quality used eyeglasses to underserved individuals around the world. The donated glasses they receive are cleaned, categorized and loaded into an online database. Ophthalmologist and 2010 Gift of Sight team member Dr. Tayyeba Ali is the organization’s Chief International Officer and one of the co-founders; using the information recorded by the Gift of Sight volunteers during the optometry clinic; she was able to match several of the prescriptions and mail the eyeglasses to Guatemala after the team completed the week long eye clinic. The Humanity First Guatemala team then delivered the eyeglasses to Proyecto Salud y Paz, and patients were contacted with the assistance of their staff.

The Gift of Sight team is grateful for the partnership with ReSpectacle to help fight blindness, and looks forward to restoring vision to those in need during the upcoming 2012 Guatemala eye camp. For more information about Humanity First USA’s Gift of Sight program, visit the official blog at http://hfgiftofsight.tumblr.com.

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Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.

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