A pair of dedicated opticians embarked on a mission to Africa recently in order to help improve the eyesight of disadvantaged people with the help of charity, Vision Aid Overseas.
Jagdeep Kainth and Bhrat Phakey, store directors at Specsavers in Idle, travelled out to Africa for a week in order to test the sight of local villagers, some of whom had never had their eyes tested.
During their trip the team provided locals with recycled glasses that had been kindly donated by customers at Specsavers in Idle, Shipley and Crossgates in Leeds.
Speaking about his trip, Jagdeep commented: ‘Our trip to Africa was a very enlightening and humbling experience. We spent the week testing the sight of local villagers and helping them with their eyecare needs, which is something that I found very satisfying.
‘One story in particular that struck a chord with me was that of a local tailor. He had never had an eye test before and had never worn glasses, but was struggling to work due to his diminishing sight.
I fitted him with a simple pair of reading glasses and his face lit up. He couldn’t believe how clear he could see and couldn’t stop thanking us for giving him his sight back.
Many people take their sight and eyecare for granted
‘A lot of people take their sight and eyecare for granted but without it, as our trip demonstrated, people in the developing world would struggle with their day-to-day lives. Both Bhrat and I felt very privileged to be given the opportunity to travel to Africa to help those in need and found the whole experience hugely rewarding.’
During their trip, Jagdeep and Bhrat also visited a local school to donate books, pens, pencils, paper, sweets and other school equipment to pupils and their teachers.
Vision Aid Overseas is an international charity which opens vision centres and makes sure they operate effectively. It frequently sends over volunteers to service equipment and train personnel and currently supports 11 centres in six partner countries: Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.