We are a group of twelve second year Optometry undergraduates from Cardiff University travelling to Malawi at the end of June for one month.
Here we will provide free vision screenings, eye care and spectacles to local communities as well as teaching refraction to registrars in local hospitals. Malawi is in South East Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world and is in need of our help. Malawi has very little access to eye care with the leading cause of visual impairment being refractive error which can be simply corrected with the donated spectacles that we can provide.
The more money we raise the more spectacles we can take out with us and the more people we can help. Sight is vital, without it children struggle to learn and adults cannot work to earn the money needed to feed and support their family - it's a vicious cycle that we can help to break. A donation of just £1 can provide one pair of spectacles which can completely change a person’s life allowing them to continue with that job that they previously didn't have the vision to do. Last year a similar refraction project run by Cardiff University students reached 2000 people in Malawi, with 1500 people receiving free spectacles along with free hats and sunglasses for those who suffer from albinism.
We have set a target to raise a total of £9000. In conjunction with donations, we are undertaking a wide range of fundraising events in Cardiff and our home towns. We will donate any leftover spectacles, hats, sunglasses and clothes to local hospitals and schools at the end of the project. This will allow local registrars that have been taught refraction to utilise their new skills and continue to provide spectacles and eye care to the local community.
Any donations will be greatly appreciated not only by us but by the people that we can help in Malawi!