INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT

Water Cisterns

The Olentangy Rotary Club announces they have obtained another grant from The Rotary Foundation to build additional cisterns in 2011.  Funding for the 2011 cisterns was provided in part with financial support from the Rotary Clubs of Sirama, Lewis Center/Polaris and Barnesville.

Santa Rosa de Lima Water Cistern #10
completed November, 2010

Thank you to:
The Rotary Foundation
Rotary District 6690
Rotary Club of Olentangy
Rotary Club of Delaware
Rotary Club of Lewis Center/Polaris
Club Rotario de Siramá San Miguel, El Salvador
and all the families that help build them

We Care Eye Care

EyeCare International provides vision care to the under-served population of El Salvador. It was founded by Dr. William Brinker in 1995 to bring ophthalmology, optometry, and optical services to areas of El Salvador outside of metropolitan centers. Typically, 5,000-7,000 patients travel to the annual two-week clinic to have their vision checked. They may receive eyeglasses or undergo surgery for cataracts or pterygium removal. Approximately 20 artificial eyes are fitted each year. Each patient is asked to donate one dollar (if they can afford it). However, there are no fees for eyeglasses, surgery, or medications.

Each year a group of 40-50 volunteers from the United States and Canada pay for their room and board and airfare to spend two weeks caring for Salvadorans who might have no other opportunity to receive vision care. Volunteers include not only eye care professionals, but others with varied backgrounds who want to help the underserved.

One pair of glasses may not change the whole world but it will change that person's world forever.

EyeCare International is an inclusive organization that provides vision services to patients in El Salvador through volunteers who test, treat, and provide eye care services.

Back from El Salvador, club member shares experiences

Olentangy Rotary Club member John Medeiros recently returned from a trip to El Salvador, where he worked on and planned for various projects on behalf of the club. What follows is Part One of his own account of the trip:

Well, I’ve been back in the real world for about a month now. I still have frequent thoughts about the people, places and adventures I experienced during the trip. Mostly, I remember the people.

First, an update on the Eye Care project. The tally of services provided included 5,500 patients, 4,400 pairs of prescription and/or reading glasses, 48 surgeries and 28 false eyes fitted.

Numbers in the abstract don’t mean very much; to think of the people behind the numbers is what is important. One memorable case was a 14-yearold girl who had a seriously deformed blind eye, probably from congenital glaucoma. The eye was removed and she was fitted with a false eye. In addition to the health aspect of her situation, a major improvement in her quality of life stemmed from the normal appearance she was given.

Then there was the woman who screamed, “I can see!” when she received her first pair of glasses.

The clinic was conducted in the town of Perquin, which is in Morazon province in the eastern part of the country. Honduras is in view across the next valley to the north from the porch of the “Perkin Lenka,” where we stayed. It appears that the program is going to change this coming year. Norm and Esther Burton, who have managed the program for a number of years, have decided to retire from their role. Norm and Esther have been a pleasure to know. They are always patient and charming, and have managed the myriad details of the logistics of the program, including managing the volunteers (or “herding the cats”).