In 2017 Perth sponsors Peter and Joanne Norman travelled to Cambodia to visit with their sponsor child, Rayuth. When they visited Rayuth in his Centre – Kingdom City Four – they noticed something quite unusual: no child was wearing glasses.
As optometrists they have an eye for such things! They chatted to our Perth office about the possibility of establishing an eyesight screening program for the kids of this Centre. At least that’s what they initially planned. We encouraged them to think bigger. Joanne later told Peter that “I think I just volunteered us to test the eyesight of over 3000 kids!”
This was a major undertaking: 3400 kids in 34 different locations over five days. Joanne planned the whole thing, including the provision of materials and the donation of thousands of lenses and frames from the Essilor Vision Foundation.
20 other Perth volunteers joined Peter and Joanne in Cambodia in October this year. Every child was tested and six of them were referred to an eye specialist. They trained eight of our staff to undertake regular routine checks and have offered to visit every year to follow up.
But that’s not all – Essilor donated polaroid sunglasses for every one of our children and staff. The Normans are outstanding Transformers, part of our huge family that continues to reach for the impossible!