Lions have long protected the precious sense of sight. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) supports Lions’ sight-saving efforts through programs like SightFirst, which helps Lions build comprehensive eye care systems in underserved communities and care for those who are blind or visually impaired.
Lions of Burkina Faso used a US$110,746 LCIF SightFirst grant.
Screening vision in Burkina Faso
François couldn’t see clearly more than 10 inches (25 cm) ahead. Yet, the 65-year-old man left his village at four o’clock in the morning to travel on his motorbike 29 miles (45 km). The trip was not easy. The road was rocky and in dangerous condition. He had a few mishaps along the way and followed other motorists closely, so he knew where to go. He hoped the risks would be worth it.
François’ friend mentioned a clinic where he could have his vision screened at no cost and purchase an affordable pair of eyeglasses. Lions of Burkina Faso used a US$110,746 LCIF SightFirst grant to build optical clinics in areas of their country where eye care was unavailable or unaffordable. The two-year project, which began in 2018, will screen the vision of 124,000 people and will distribute 26,400 pairs of glasses.
When François arrived at the clinic, an optician screened his vision and determined the correct prescription for his first pair of eyeglasses. François was able to purchase the eyeglasses for 5,000 CFA (just US$10). When he put them on, he smiled. He told the optician he could see everything perfectly.
François left on his motorbike and headed home. This time, he didn’t need to follow anyone.
Did you know
As one of the Foundation’s most notable programs, SightFirst funds efforts to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness and provide services to persons who are blind or have visual impairments. This is accomplished through the support of eye health care delivery systems, training and infrastructure development.
80% of vision impairment can be prevented or cured. Every dollar you provide directly supports grants, programs, and initiatives advancing our mission every day.
LCIF is the grant-making body empowering Lions to create greater impact in their communities and around the world. The vast majority of funding LCIF receives is from Lions; 100 percent of every donation supports Lions service through LCIF grants and programs.
Vision is just one cause area supported by LCIF and Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service. With financial support from Lions and clubs worldwide, Campaign 100 is empowering Lions to increase service impact in vision, youth, disaster relief, and humanitarian efforts; fight the global epidemic of diabetes; and make important progress in the expanded cause areas of childhood cancer, hunger, and the environment.
Jamie Konigsfeld is a marketing content specialist at Lions Clubs International Foundation. Bill Hatzos is senior marketing specialist for Lions Clubs International Foundation.