God’s ability to provide has been a blessing and comfort as things have progressed with the eye clinic in Haiti, and we look forward to what he has next in store for us at HIS Vision. Another need that has arisen is to be able to teach and train future Opticians at the clinic in Haiti. We are looking for licensed Opticians to come alongside these trainees and teach them the profession. The trips can be broken up into short-term trips, and would meet a major necessitate for getting this clinic on its feet, and allowing the people of Haiti to become self-sustaining.
Did you know that in Haiti, a nation of approximately 10 million people, there is roughly one eye doctor for every 200,000 people, where as the United States has one for every 6,000 people? And most of these doctors are near the Haitian capital, which leaves many who cannot travel without a means of seeking the help they need, which can aid these people in escaping a life of poverty and just allowing them to live a more productive life.
Most of the eye health problems that Haitians suffer with are curable diseases, that with proper care, these people could live normal lives. Imagine getting hit in the eye with a branch, or sustaining what we may call a minor injury. Most people in the United States could just go and see an eye doctor. But in Haiti, not having eye care readily available, a minor problem can quickly turn into a huge issue. Help us in being part of this change, and make vision care for all the people in Haiti a reality.
We are relieved to finally have all of our equipment shipped over to the clinic in Haiti! It has been a long process, but God has been so good in bringing all the little details together. We are so grateful for those who have generously donated and contributed to the cause that this clinic stands for. There are just a few more needs before the clinic can be fully operational:
-Visual Field Machine
Help make vision possible. Consider giving today!
All of us at HIS Vision are thrilled to see the progress of our eye clinic, as God has really paved the way to make sure His people in Haiti are being taken care of. With our celebration of the clinic Grand Opening in May, we are looking for two Optometrists to join us on one of our trips coming up in 2014 in order to continue the success of the clinic.
The first trip is October 6-15, and the following is in November with FCO, an optometric student group. We also host several customizable trips throughout the year for groups, and are in need for professional optometrists to go along with students on these trips. If not for the volunteers and support that God has so graciously provided, this clinic in Haiti would still be in the planning, and not the reality that it is today.
-Melinda Wilson, ABOC
We are pleased to announce our newest project, Caribbean Service Corps (CSC). This service opportunity focuses on giving sight to the physically and spiritually blind through several short term and long term positions in Haiti and St. Thomas.
CSC is a new program for those looking to be interns/apprentices, journeymen, and servant leaders in either Haiti or St. Thomas. Positions include working in the eye clinic, health promotions, social media, film/video, finance, children’s ministry programs, sports ministry, maintenance, optometry, ophthalmic technicians, and administrative support in a Bible college. These roles are essential to the overall mission of the HIS Vision Project to eradicate needless blindness and visual impairment worldwide.
If you are interested in getting involved with Caribbean Service Corps in any way, click here and tell us how you’d like to get involved. The Lord can use your skills and passions in ways you could never imagine!
Haiti, a country of about 10 million people, suffers from inadequate treatment for vision conditions and diseases, most of which are easily curable, a luxury that we as Americans do not have much concern with. But poor eye health contributes greatly to poverty, while leaving many others unable to receive proper education, or uphold a job, which turns back towards poverty. It is a vicious cycle that many cannot escape without the help and commitment of others willing to step in to aid in this terminal situation.
We are in need of Opticians who are eager to help in the writing of our Opticianry program for our Haitian clinic. These will be used to help educate Haitian students, which not only helps establish the work that is being done there, but allows these students employment opportunities, which ultimately leads to change. Create hope, be the change, join the movement.
We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Coastal Vision, a family eye care provider with four locations in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, VA areas. The optometrists at Coastal Vision provide comprehensive eye care and excellent services to their patients.
While speaking with Dr. Beach, co-owner and doctor of Coastal Vision, we learned about his passion for giving back to the community. “For me, giving back is an act of gratitude for the blessings I’ve been given and it’s an expression of faith in a greater purpose,” Dr. Beach said.
Dr. Beach started his own practice six years ago from scratch and understands the difficulty of lacking resources to give on a larger scale. However, he still found ways to give in small increments. After joining with Dr.’s Nilsson, Lin, and Wang to purchase Coastal Vision in 2013, he knew this was their opportunity to give tremendously more than they had previously.
The doctors at Coastal Vision soon began the “Coastal Vision Cares” Initiative in which they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased. This allows patients to be a vital part in the process of giving back.
After learning about the HIS Vision Project, Dr. Beach contacted CEO Melinda Wilson to learn how to get involved and make an impact alongside our organization. To date, Coastal Vision has donated 450 pairs of glasses to HIS Vision Project in a matter of only two months.
Coastal Vision hopes to continue donating an average of 200-225 pairs of glasses per month to HIS Vision. We cannot express our gratitude enough for their partnership with us; we are thankful for their willingness and passion to be on board with our vision.
For more ways to partner with us or make a donation, please click the photo.
A Post By Haley
For those of you who don’t know me, I am not really a kid person, especially those I don’t really know and newborns. I like them; they are cute and funny, but I don’t really want to pick them up and cuddle them with their snotty noses and drool. I will never be one to ask a stranger if I can hold their baby or touch their pregnant stomachs – ew.
But, one night everyone was going to the orphanage, I thought, ‘eh- I just worked all day, the last thing I want to do is have a bunch of kids I don’t even know touch me and ask for hugs.’ But everyone was going, so of course, I wasn’t going to be lame, so I went.
When we got there it was just what I expected. Lots of kids and lots of touching. I was overwhelmed as I found myself suddenly surrounded by what seemed like hundreds of children- but turned out to be only about 35.
Little girls tugging on my arms asking what my name was and wanting to show me all their friends; I was thinking, ‘Okay, this is cute, but I’m ready to go.’
Then the kids started singing and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, am I in Annie right now? How cliché is this. American girl goes to Haiti and gets her pictures with a ton of cute kids. Great, I can check this off my Facebook profile picture bucket list.’
So annoyed that I was actually there experiencing something that so many young girls long for, I politely listened to the kids.
I mean, it was cute.
As I stood there listening, all of a sudden I felt 25 pounds heavier –so confused, I looked to my right and a child had appeared on my hip! I thought, “Wait, how did that kid get up here?” He must have shimmied up onto me like I was a tree, because I know I didn’t pick him up. Comfortably situated on my hip, he said, “BonSawh (goodnight).”
‘Oh no! This kid is on me, touching me, touching my hair, I need to get him off of me,’ was my immediate thought.
Then the kids started singing again, “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord.” And this kid- oh my goodness, started belting it out as loud as he possibly could.
I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at him, his head bobbing up and down, shouting the words so loudly.
The joy I felt through that child, just being held and enjoying singing together- made me cry happy tears. Hashtag, cliché embarrassing girl moment; hashtag, please don’t judge me for this, I know it’s cliché.
To be honest, I was thinking about how great these kids have it. Living in Haiti, in an orphanage where they are receiving an education, have two meals each day, and a place to sleep; they were so fortunate.
After the singing was finished, we had to go. I tried to tell this kid goodbye. “Ovawah,” I said. He didn’t let go. So I waved, that’s universal in every language, right? He clung on even tighter. So then, being afraid I would be left behind and stampeded by children, I started walking to catch up with the team.
I asked the little boy what his name was; he didn’t know what I said. A little girl came over and told me, “His name is Samuel.” Then she disappeared like a ninja; these kids were everywhere.
So I sat down on the ground and told him “Ovawah Samuel.” I basically pried the child off me and looked at him; he was sad. I was sad and also confused.
I started walking away and turned back to look; he was still standing there, watching me walk, as kids dodged around him running and skipping. Hurrying my walk- I turned around later; he was gone- probably had already forgotten me, playing with his friends.
I left feeling conflicted that night.
First, I actually ‘had a moment’ with a child I didn’t know and couldn’t communicate with. That was weird.
Second, those kids, for being in Haiti, are pretty well off. But is that really well off? How much more could be done to help the other kids who are on the streets?
Third, so many people come down to play with the orphans and leave. Or they come in and provide a care and then go. Personally, I’m learning the value of working with something sustainable.
This whole experience made me so happy that HIS Vision is not short term. We are in for the long haul; we are in Haiti to make a difference and we are determined.
It takes many people with all different talents and abilities to make a difference. If you are interested in Haiti and want to work with something sustainable and long term, let me know! We would love for you to come, have a couple cliché moments and meet some Samuels of your own.
If I had to use one word to describe my trip to Haiti, it would be refreshing. Going with a team of seven, five of which had never been to Haiti with HIS Vision before, I was quickly reminded of why I had such a passion to help this country. Seeing the team’s reactions to the poverty and lack of eye care, created an even more burdensome longing to bring hope to the Haitians.
I was so content when I saw the equipment patiently waiting our team at the clinic. It was almost as if the boxes shouted, “You did it! We are here and the hard work paid off!” I was happy!
Then the happiness morphed into anxiety.
While the satisfaction of completing stage one was wonderful, the thought of starting phase two was almost too much.
I looked around at the the new tiles, windows, doors and electric work that had been completed. The beautiful detailed paint job caught my eye. My mind compared and contrasted the differences from the first time I stepped into this building. A dirt floor now replaced with tiles. Broken walls were now standing straight. Garbage piles around the rooms transformed into piles of bubble wrap and cardboard boxes holding glasses. I realized the Lord had done a miracle.
I put my fear behind me. Using the hard work that had been completed as my inspiration, I became energized. The second phase was going to become a reality, the HIS Vision Clinic would be opening in the spring! It was finally coming together and it was incredible.
For the clinic, our main need at this point is Ophthalmic Equipment:
– Auto Refractor
– Visual Field Machine
We saw around 400 patients this trip. Our team ferociously tackled the task to give everyone special care, meeting all their needs individually.
Leaving Haiti I felt free. We completed so many tasks, including getting our NGO status in Haiti. We set up the clinic and now it’s a matter of tying up loose ends and a few pieces of equipment. This trip was a milestone; it was refreshing and I was often reminded, “with God, nothing is impossible.”
A gigantic heartfelt thanks to all who donated equipment, finances and time to make this dream a reality.
One of the first things I noticed in Haiti were children walking to school in perfectly clean, pressed uniforms. For most, the pants and skirts were made of wool. Hot, hot, hot temperatures and wool would make any child complain, but not in Haiti. School is available for very few. It is a privilege. Children recognize the sacrifices made for them to get an education and value the opportunity to learn. Maybe this is why so many visitors to the clinic expressed such gratitude when they were given glasses.
Just a few short months ago, eye care was not available to most Haitians, but the clinic makes it possible for students with poor eyesight to continue their studies and aspire to a better future. So many patients couldn’t help from grinning when they realized they could read small print easily.
Even though I am not a doctor and only played a small part in the clinic, I felt I got the greatest reward since I was the giver of the glasses and got to hear and see the appreciation of the blessing of sight.
It was an honor to be a part of making a difference in the lives of hundreds of people in one week’s time.
To learn more about the HIS Vision Project visit our website. To help give the gift of sight for those in need donate here and provide opportunity today!