The photograph above shows Annie Arkwright (left) handing across a batch of SpecSort glasses to the Navajeevana Centre in Tangalie, Sri Lanka, Image source: Colin Perrott
The highly-regarded 'flagship' initiative of Rotary York Ainsy (RYA) - SpecSort - is now operating in more countries world-wide.
Since Ruth Perrott's return from Senegal in early 2020, two weeks prior to the initial COVID lockdown, more opportunities to supply the much-needed resource have become apparent.
The project has continued apace throughout the lockdowns, with York Ainsty Rotarians continuing to sort, wash and measure spectacles in their own homes. As of early 2022, with lockdown rules relaxed, the RYA SpecSorters are now meeting twice a month.
The other good news is that RYA is now shipping, both by sea and air, libraries of spectacles to locations in Ghana, Kenya and Sri Lanka.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2022 / SG
The Ghanian contact is via Sister Abba Otoo, who visited St Hilda’s Priory in Whitby earlier this year. Sister Abba runs the Anglican Eye Hospital in Jachie Kumasi and it was arranged to ship two boxes of spectacles via sea container at a cost of £30.00
Six weeks later we were delighted to hear the news as follows: “I was informed by my team that with the Covid restrictions lifted by the Government in Ghana, they’ve managed to carry out seven outreach clinics in the villages and managed to dispense majority of the reading glasses you gave us. They are actually asking for more and they would be grateful for the same that you sent them”.
A second shipment of spectacles was sent in early May 2022 via Anchor Traders. Now that the capabilities of the hospital are understood we envisage that Ghana will become our focus!
Via Ruth Perrott's ’s professional contacts, RYA have heard that the Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB) provides charitable projects for free eye screening and spectacles with the help of donations. They reach the most needy through government eye health facilities. KSB also works via government facilities to conduct free “eye camps”.
In support of KSB, RYA have sent two shipments of spectacles via airfreight using an internet-based broker. The first shipment arrived very quickly - but unfortunately the second shipment was delayed in customs clearance formalities at the airport. Latest news is that the spectacles have now reached KSB and RYA awaitst news of their distribution
Sri Lanka 2022
Annie Arkwright is a regular visitor to Sri Lanka and she introduced SpecSort to the Navajeevana Centre in Tangalie, located in the far south of the island.
Action stations at the Navajeevana Centre in Sri Lanka - busy dispensing SpecSort glasses from Rotary York Ainsty. Image source: Colin Perrott.
The Navajeevana Centre for disability offers rehabilitation services and champions disability rights across Sri Lanka. The centre provides services to areas impacted by the civil war and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The current political situation in Sri Lanka is a cause for concern with many people unable to afford food, yet alone eye care.
Please continue to donate spectacles to SpecSort, so that RYA can continue to support these projects.
Three shipments have been made to Navajeevana, two by sea container and one by airfreight and, as of late April, the last shipment made by container had arrived via the port of Gaul.
The service work with International partners has increased the number of people who can benefit from Rotary York Ainsty’s project. New donations for the project arrive every day and we encourage all to spread the word about SpecSort.
VISITED AFRICA 16 TIMES
Optometrist, Ruth Perrott, has visited the African Continent on 16 occasions providing spectacles and training to communities in Burkina Faso (3), Cameroon, Malawi (4), Senegal (4), Sierra Leone (3) and Tanzania.
Rotary York Ainsty have supported this venture for the last 30 years with their SpecSort Project, where used spectacles are converted into libraries of cleaned and measured spectacles. The libraries are then carried as hold luggage or shipped via air or seafreight.
BACKGROUND AND THANKS
Rotary York Ainsty has been involved in the collection, sorting, washing, measuring and packaging of spectacles since November 1991. The measured glasses are assembled into libraries before being transported as excess hold luggage on the journey.
Thank you to our teams of SpecSorters. This ‘satellite’ group meet regularly to work through the increasing numbers of spectacles and your help is sincere- ly appreciated. Thanks also to all our supporters and organi- sations who have donat- ed spectacles and sup- port in the last year.
We acknowledge the whole team who worked every evening recording the specs supplied and monies spent.
Keep those spectacles coming! Thank you!
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW FOR FURTHER SPECSORT PAGES ON THIS WEB SITE
For more information on this project contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org - 01904 704634
For more information regarding Rotary York Ainsty visit: www.tinyurl.com/RotaryYorkAinsty
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