Sunday, 5 September 2010

Donation of glasses

One of the more harrowing sights whilst travelling through Freetown, visiting the four Educaid schools and going up country was seeing the huge number of people who had vision difficulties or were completely blind. No guide dogs in Sierra Leone instead relatives who were usually very young children are used. A tragedy to be struck blind through sickness in Sierra Leone and another tragedy for the kids who are condemned to spend many years as another person's vision.

Following our APPEAL for glasses we received a magnificent response. The glasses wont cure anybodies blindness but they will help thousands who otherwise would struggle to see as well as possible. Thanks to Tony's contacts one part of our visit that went perfectly according to plan was our visit to the optical department of a major hospital in Freetown. Armed with a large suitcase packed with donated glasses we met up with Dr Charlie and his assistant. On opening the bulging suitcase that revealed hundreds of specs of all sizes, shapes and strengths the look on the good doctors face was one of surprise and delight. Dr Charlie's assistant informed us that our donation was perfectly timed because they had just about run out of glasses to distribute to their patients. Dr Charlie's acceptance of our donation was both humble and gracious.

Dr Charlie took us on a guided tour of his very small department and introduced us to his limited but dedicated and professional staff team. Meeting Dr Charlie and co was heart warming and gave good reason for our visit to go beyond just football.

Further bags of glasses had been left at each of the four Educaid schools we visited with one more bag being distributed amongst a small community very close to the hotel we stayed at. We have further glasses remaining here in the UK and with the APPEAL continuing more of the donations of glasses will be taken or sent to Sierra Leone at some time in the future.

Alex Channon

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