International : The Spectacles for Sri Lanka Project
This is an innovative project to provide spectacles for the people of Sri Lanka, particularly for the poor and the elderly. As at Dec 2017 40,000 have been sent.
- Poster.pdf Project_notes_for_rotary_clubs_A4.doc
There is a great need in Sri Lanka for the provision of spectacles. Poor people cannot afford them, and there is no Government support for this, so many (especially elderly) people have to struggle to read, watch television, or undertake everyday tasks.
For some years Lakshman Gallage, a member of Stroud Rotary, has been collecting used spectacles in considerable quantities through his contact with the local branch of Specsavers. Private individuals have taken batches of spectacles to Sri Lanka, where LG has a cousin who is an optician. He is able to source simple lens quite cheaply, but frames are very expensive. With the frames supplied by LG he is able to provide spectacles to needy people at low cost.
Events are held at which people can have their sight tested, and if a suitable pair of spectacles is already available, they can be fitted with them at the same visit. If not, spectacles are prepared and fitted at a subsequent visit. Individuals who can pay towards the spectacles do so, otherwise the provision is free, sponsored by various groups. Over 40,000 pairs have already been supplied in this way. LG has an album of photos of grateful recipients.
LG now wishes to expand the project, to a target of 100,000 pairs of spectacles. He has agreement from his cousin, and Rotary Clubs in Sri Lanka have promised to support the project, so that the Sri Lankan end of project is already assured.
For this worthwhile project to be a success, we need :
- Many more used spectacles. We welcome good quality used spectacles from any source. The lens is unimportant, but the frame must be in good condition and undamaged. Please consider collecting spectacles for us at your school, office or business. Ask your local optician if they can help.
- Sponsorship for transport to Sri Lanka and customs clearance. LG is in touch with a firm of carriers who offer to transport 'tea-chest' size boxes of spectacles to Sri Lanka, obtain customs clearance, and deliver them to the project. This 'door to door' service costs £45 per box, containing an estimated 1500 pairs of spectacles. To achieve the target, up to 100 boxes will be needed. Please consider sponsoring a box. We welcome sponsorship of boxes, from firms, individuals, Clubs, pubs, schools etc. In return for the sponsorship the donor will receive a certificate, a letter of thanks, and a photograph of the distribution of the spectacles to their grateful recipients. They will be inscribed on the Roll of Honour of the project.
If you are one of the millions of people in the UK who wear spectacles, try this simple test.
- Take them off.
- Now try to imagine what your life would be without them – no books, no TV, can't see the grand-children clearly ….