I am a member of a team of nine optometry students and one doctor part of a non-profit student-led organization at Pacific University called AMIGOS. We are travelling to Lima, Peru for an eye care mission in March, 2013. As we do for all AMIGOS Eye Care Missions, we will be performing free vision exams for the local people.
As students, this trip will create a hands-on application of the skills we have spent many hours learning in the classroom. It will also provide an incredible opportunity to change lives through vision. We plan to see over 900 locals in need of eyeglasses and medical treatment pertaining to the eye. Every pair of glasses we prescribe and give out is the prospect of bringing education to a child, new job opportunities to a family, or restored quality of life to the elderly.
In addition to the usual free eye exams, as we do on all of our missions, we have an exciting opportunity to connect with local Optometry students. These eye care missions by themselves are not a logical long-term solution to serving the millions of people without eyecare. There are many organizations supporting the development of optometry schools in these underserved countries in order to teach local people to serve their eye needs. We will be helping the big picture goal by sharing experience and knowledge with our colleagues in Peru.
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