Jeff Lichty and Mary Sloan, Clarkston Rotary Club members, provide a student with new glasses. Photo provided
Clarkston Rotarians Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty, and Gerry Jackson, a Rotarian from Davisburg, joined a group of volunteer optometrists from the organization VOSH (Volunteer Optometrists Serving Humanity) on an eye care mission to Kenya, Jan. 12-26
“The experience was wonderful. Jeff and I will go next year again,” said Sloan, who has gone on VOSH trips with Lichty before, to Grenada and Peru. “Everyone we met was friendly, helpful and appreciative. The needs are very great, as you can imagine. Hopefully we helped people improve their lives, especially the school children. Watching a child put on a pair of glasses and see things for the first time is a joy beyond imaginable. A smile lights up his or her beautiful face. It’s a feeling like no other.”
The group, led by Rotarian Dr. Nelson Edwards of the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Club, worked with a local Kenyan Rotary club to set up five days of clinics in four locations, including a Masai village.
The team of 10, including three optometrists and another eye care professional, served about 1,200 patients, providing glasses and making referrals for further eye care locally. The team was helped by local volunteers, especially with interpreting.
Time was built in the visit some game parks and attend local Rotary meetings. The group will be seeking additional eye care professionals next year for a return trip, Sloan said.