Rotarians on a mission

Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty work at a Kenyan clinic. Photo provided

Clarkston Rotarians Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty recently returned from a volunteer mission to Kenya, bringing eye care to almost 2,000 Kenyans.
The mission provided eye glasses to people as young as preschool, and many in their 80’s and 90’s.
In addition to providing glasses, doctors were able to make referrals for those needing further medical care for their eyes.
They traveled with a group of 21 volunteers, many of them Rotary members representing eight Rotary clubs in the U.S. and Canada.
The trip was organized by Dr. Nelson Edwards, a member of the Livingston Sunrise Rotary club and a member of VOSH, Volunteer Optometrists Serving Humanity.
Dr. Edwards worked with the Kenyan- based Utumishi Rotary club to to set up five days of clinics in three locations north of Nairobi.
The group took with them about 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses which had been donated and then organized by the Lion’s clubs.
Clarkston Rotary donated 1,000 pairs of quality readers for those who just needed reading glasses.
“The needs were great, as you can imagine, and it was especially rewarding to see the smile on a child’s face when he or she could see clearly for the first time,” Sloan said.
Sloan, Lichty, and the whole team know they made a big difference in the lives of many people, especially the school children. Many older people expressed, through a local volunteer translator, they could now more easily read their Bibles, she said.
Sloan is currently editing a video of the trip, which will be shown at a regular Wednesday Clarkston Rotary club meeting in the near future. The experience was so rewarding that both Sloan and Lichty plan to return to Kenya for another “Vacation with a Purpose” next year.