In communities like Cox’s Bazar, an eye exam and glasses often can’t be prioritized due to so many other competing needs. In fact, in many areas, access to vision care simply does not exist. However, vision care is an important factor in overall health. It also supports better educational outcomes and allows people to work and live more safely.
That’s why OneSight partnered with BRAC, bringing together OneSight’s deep experience bringing essential vision care to even the most hard-to-reach communities with BRAC’s unparalleled experience in empowering the people of Bangladesh through social development ranging from education to health to job skills development and beyond. Together we are making it possible for more people to get the care they need and deserve. BRAC has been able to open 20 eyecare centers so far, creating 80 jobs and delivering glasses and access to many rural communities.
In addition, a vision care clinic held in February of this year provided direct care to 1,500 people over 5 days. Volunteers worked 3 days in the Kutupalong camp to serve refugee populations and 2 days in a local school to serve Bangladesh natives. BRAC led the effort to pre-screen 7,000 patients to identify those in need and ensure the most impact possible from the clinic.
“The OneSight Bangladesh clinic is a clear example of when we all put our intentions together with the ability and the opportunity, that is when we can impact life in any corner of the world,” says Mustapha Nije, OneSight Associate Director of Programming.
At the clinic, all patients received a full eye exam and eye health check and those who needed them were provided glasses made to their prescription.
Dr. Sri Marmamula shares that “It was rewarding to see the joy on their faces at being able to see the world better after wearing the glasses for the first time.”
Seeing those lives changed left an impression on those who lent their time and expertise to the clinic.
“Being part of a team of professionals in Bangladesh whose primary goal was to bring a meaningful, positive impact to the lives of Rohingye and Bangladeshi people in need was truly an honour,” says Dr. Kristin Coffey. “It was such a rich and rewarding experience, that although only a week long, has left a lasting impression that will stay with me for a lifetime.”
Dr. Weilin Tsai adds that his time volunteering reinforced that “Everyone deserves the gift of sight and I am not more worthy of it than anyone else. Bangladesh showed me that the correct mindset is what separates the best from the rest. Working together with others that have the same common goal and setting aside any differences was what really made the dream work. Working together as a team helped us ensure that every single small act left a huge impact on another’s life and we felt this through our core in our week there.”
While the road ahead for groups of refugees, migrants and displaced people is still a difficult one, BRAC’s work with OneSight helps equip individuals and communities with the clear sight they need to improve their long-term well-being and remove a lack of access to glasses as a barrier to their future potential.
Learn more about OneSight’s work with refugees and displaced people here.