Two hundred people in Myanmar, Southeast Asia have recently received the gift of sight thanks to Specsavers Hemel Hempstead.

The glasses drive

The team has been appealing to local residents to donate old, unwanted glasses with the view to helping communities in developing countries benefit from corrective eyewear.

Approximately 200 pairs of glasses have been collected over the last few months by the store and the team were delighted to donate the generous bundle to Dr Hla Tun, founder of the Belmond Myanmar Foundation.

About the foundation

The Belmond Myanmar Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that provides education through its 21 schools and runs a free health clinic in Bagan to local communities unable to afford basic healthcare. Some visitors travel as far as 150km to attend the clinic.

One of the vital services offered by philanthropist Dr Tun includes corrective eye wear.  Many of the people that Dr Tun sees have never had access to glasses and may have spent years unable to perform very simple tasks as a consequence.  A simple donation of a pair of prescriptive glasses can make a significant difference to the overall wellbeing of the individual.

Thank you

Dr Tun sent his words of thanks to the Specsavers Hemel Hempstead team for their donation, along with a story from one lady who was particularly grateful to receive her glasses:

‘Villagers of all ages were waiting at the clinic. Their eyes were so bright with hope. One villager tried on two pairs to find they were blurred but the third pair was so clear that she immediately called for her grandson to give her the sewing needle that she had brought with her - and was able to thread it. She said to me “Oh! I’ve got my life back: I can find the hole of the needle!” She was so happy that tear drops were falling from her eyes. She was able to read and sew for the first time in 20 years.’

A word from the store director

Store director Shane Bhimani said: ‘I want to thank the entire community of Hemel Hempstead who have dropped off their old glasses over the years. People often don’t get the chance to see where their donations end up so I hope this story helps to show everyone what a positive impact they make.’

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