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Old Swan optician visits VAO Zambia centre and raises £2500

17 September, 2014
Eye examination

Specsavers optician from Old Swan, Liverpool has raised more than £2,500 for a Vision Aid Overseas eye care centre in Zambia, which provides essential treatment to local people.

Laura Mills, director visited the centre in Zambia twice in recent months to help deliver its services and also to teach local students how they can provide those basic treatments that will help to keep the centre running.

Training local people to run the centre independently

Working with a team of volunteers, Laura helped to train around 15 students per day at the centre, starting with theory in the morning and then moving to practical training in the afternoon. During her two visits and training, she helped to treat over 2,000 patients.

The training included giving students lectures on basic optics, dispensing and other basic eye care treatments. She also showed students how to put their training into practice by carrying out the treatments on local people. The charity’s goal for the centre is that one day local people will be able to run it independently.

Making sure local people have the skills to keep the centre’s services running is vital. The eye care treatment carried out at the centre is key in ensuring local people are able to maintain their independence and continue to work.Vision Aid Overseas runs a number of projects in developing countries to help improve eye health. 

Fundraising in the UK 

Specsavers stores across the UK collect old glasses for the charity all year round. The donated glasses are then used to help projects like the vision centre in Zambia. The centre in Zambia uses its donated frames to help keep the centre open by selling the frames to local people for a small fee.

The charity hopes its eye care services can also stretch to those in more remote areas in Zambia too, and it has plans to set up more test spaces in the future. 

Staff and customers at Specsavers in Old Swan, plus Laura’s family and friends all dug deep in order to support her two trips and the work happening at the centre in Zambia, and raised a whopping £2,500 for the charity.  

A great cause

Laura said: 'The Vision Aid Overseas centres are essential in supporting eye care needs for local people in Zambia. This allows people to continue to work and support their families, not just to treat eye disease. It gave me great satisfaction to know that I could share my knowledge with local people to make long lasting changes.

The fact that we managed to secure so much support from colleagues, customers, family and friends in the UK to allow me to go on these visits made it an even more worthwhile experience.

The £2,500 raised will go straight back into building up eyecare services in Zambia and will really make a difference.'

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