This year we are supporting Education In Sight and Gift of Life in recognition of their outstanding efforts in the community.
EDUCATION IN SIGHT
WHO WE ARE ?
A China-based NGO that works in the poorest regions of rural China to help children get the eyeglasses they need to see clearly in school.
WHAT WE DO?
In rural China, over one in five children don’t have the eyeglasses they need to see in school. As a result, their grades fall, their drop out rates increase, and they are much more likely to be trapped in a cycle of poverty. Education In Sight works in two phases to help children get corrected vision. First, we partner with local rural counties to build new vision centers in government hospitals and train staff to be optometrists. This ensures that in the future, everyone in the county can get proper eye care. Next, we send our new Vision Teams to county schools to give eye exams to every student. Exams inside schools means no barriers for students. Last, we delivery free eyeglasses to nearsighted children and educate communities on how to identify vision problems among students and where to get eye exams. This ensures future problems can be addressed.
WHO WE HELP?
We work in designated poor counties of rural Yunnan and focus primarily on elementary and middle school students. Many of these students and their families live too far from vision centers to get exams, and are also too poor to afford proper glasses. Since 2012, we’ve worked in 400+ schools, given 22,000 eyeglasses, and delivered over 157,000 eye exams.
GIFT OF LIFE
WHAT WE DO AND HELP?
Gift of Life is a Rotarian-based organisation that has evolved over the past 4 decades into a global network of caring. Our traditional model for providing care to children with congenital heart disease from emerging countries was to bring one child at a time to the United States for treatment. For the first decades of our existence, this was our primary means of providing hope to children who were not able to receive treatment in their country of birth.
As China develops economically, since 2005 we have started to partner with provincial level hospitals in China to provide surgeries to nearby rural children in need. With time, as the health care delivery improves in the the rural areas and fewer children are born with heart defects, Rotary continues to focus on providing hope by meeting the current need of treating Hypospadias, a terrible condition that affects boys genitals with significant impact to their lives as children, leading to them being abandoned by parents, growing up they are often marginalized or ridiculed, and having low self-esteem, with many committing suicide.
Rotary works with Hebei Shijiazhuang Pediatric Hospital in a GOL outreach program by sending pediatric urologist surgeons to the rural areas to examine children with the defects, educating families about seeking medical treatment and from experts, and providing clinical training to rural county surgeons, as well as covering the cost of surgeries.