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Upper Eden Rotary Club in Africa

Vision Aid Overseas
The Problem - Shortage of Spectacles in Developing Countries

In developing countries many people with poor eyesight do not have access to opticians, eye tests and spectacles. It is estimated that more than 300 million people suffer hardship simply because they do not have a pair of spectacles that would enable them to lead a normal life. The root cause of this situation is poverty and a lack of health services including optician support. For people with poor vision in the developing countries, education and employment can be inaccessible. Life can be difficult and even dangerous.

Rotary Solution - Support 'Vision Aid Overseas'

Rotary supports the work of Vision Aid Overseas, a charity dedicated to helping people with poor eyesight in developing countries. Established in 1985 the charity asks people in the UK to donate unwanted spectacles which are then graded and repaired before being shipped overseas where they are dispensed to the needy. Volunteer optometrists and dispensing opticians travel overseas to perform eye tests to ensure that the spectacles are correctly dispensed. The procedures are outlined below.

People give unwanted spectacles to local collection centres (opticians, chemists etc).

DX Network Services collects the spectacles and delivers them to VAO.

VAO sorts the spectacles, scrapping any that are unsuitable.

Prisoners clean, grade and pack the spectacles.

Spectacles are shipped overseas.

Spectacles are finally dispensed to the needy at special clinics after eye tests are carried out.

Some of the countries supported by Vision Aid Overseas are Burkina Faso , Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.

Rotary Clubs in the UK assist in this work by collecting unwanted spectacles. The spectacles are delivered to opticians practices from where they are collected by DX Network Services, a specialist optical delivery provider.

Contributions from Rotary Club of Upper Eden

The Rotary Club of Upper Eden acts as a collection centre for unwanted spectacles. Periodically we deliver them to an optometrist in Penrith where they are checked before collection by DX for delivery to Vision Aid Overseas. If you are in the Kirkby Stephen area and you have unwanted spectacles please contact us and we will arrange collection.

Year Contribution Total
2018 October 23 pairs dispatched 1059
2017 July 30 pairs dispatched 1036
2017 April 38 pairs dispatched 1006
2016 November 36 pairs dispatched 968
2016 March 50 pairs dispatched 932
2015 March 47 pairs dispatched 882
2014 October 20 pairs dispatched 835
2014 September 15 pairs dispatched 815
2014 June 17 pairs dispatched 800
2013 October 32 pairs dispatched 783
2013 July 18 pairs dispatched 751
2013 February 44 pairs dispatched 733
2012 April 24 pairs dispatched 689
2011 November 31 pairs dispatched 665
2011 August 83 pairs dispatched 634
2011 June 37 pairs dispatched 551
2010 July 85 pairs dispatched v514
2010 February 37 pairs dispatched 429
2009 158 pairs dispatched 392
2003-2008 234 pairs dispatched 234