A PROJECT WITH EXTRAORDINARY VISION: JOHN FAWCETT FOUNDATION RESTORES SIGHT & HOPE TO BALINESE PEOPLE
One, single US dollar for a pair of eyeglasses.
That’s all it costs to help a Balinese man or women see again. And once their vision becomes clear, these people can be more productive at work and for their families.
That’s the idea behind John Fawcett Foundation’s mobile eye care clinic. JFF’s team brings glasses, and doctors to perform exams and cataract surgeries, to impoverished communities all over the island.
More than five million people in Indonesia have some sort of visual impairment, but JFF says most of these conditions are preventable or curable.
OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST 25 YEARS, THE MOBILE CLINIC HAS HAD A MASSIVE IMPACT ON THOSE NUMBERS, HAVING SCREENED NEARLY 1 MILLION BALINESE AND HAVING PERFORMED MORE THAN 45,000 CATARACT SURGERIES.
In addition to these solutions being extremely affordable, the ‘mobile’ aspect of the clinic makes it accessible too. Late senior program manager Wayan Sukujaya had told B1G1, “they don’t have money to come from the village to the hospital,” adding that when they visit the village they can screen literally hundreds of people every day who otherwise would never be seen.
Wayan’s colleague, Assistant Field Project Coordinator I Nengah Sariyasa made the comparison that if the Balinese people need to buy the glasses themselves, “that means they can’t buy rice or food for one or two months.”
The impact of that single dollar for the glasses is just astonishing, and B1G1 business members recently had the chance to see it for themselves. During B1G1’s 100 Million Impact Conference in July, conference participants could elect to visit one of the villages where JFF had set up shop for the day.
B1G1 business member Alf Magnano summed it up beautifully:
When you see it first-hand it does make a bigger impact because it’s not a brochure, it’s not someone in your home country telling you about something, you’re seeing it physically. It’s three dimensional, you get to experience it, and you’re seeing the actual joy in people’s faces that they’re getting that needed improvement.