A clearer vision for learners

2019-05-02 06:00
Shaylyn Hendricks and Dianne PowellPHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Shaylyn Hendricks and Dianne PowellPHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Disa Primary School learners in Imizamo Yethu who struggle with their eyesight will soon have another pair of eyes thanks to the generosity of local organisations.

About 135 learners doing Grade R, Grade 1 and Grade 7 had their eyes tested in a pilot project made possible by the Hout Bay Rotary Club, Jonga Trust based in Khayelitsha. The project is run by Dianne Powell and her team.

Powell also runs several projects through the Lions Club of Tokai.

Learners that have bad eyesight had an opportunity to choose their frames and will have their spectacles ready in about a week’s time, all for free. Chris Eksteen, from Eksteen optometrists in Rondebosch and chairperson of the Jonga Trust, prescribed spectacles and ensured that learners had the correct strength for their glasses.

After choosing their frames the learners were also taught about the importance of looking after their spectacles and ways to do that.

The two-day pilot programme, if successful, will be rolled out to other schools in the area. It is run and funded by the Rotary. Through the help of international donors in Holland, they are able to bring these services for free to the learners.

Alan Richards, who runs the community services for the rotary, says they are happy to offer these free services to the learners. “One learner came here and when we put up fingers up in his face, he couldn’t see a thing. That learner is in Grade 6 now. Imagine how his life has been. The new pair of glasses he will soon get will be life changing,” he says.

Richards adds that this is not the first time they have done eye testing for learners. They did it on a very small scale 18 months ago. “That is when we discovered children with serious eye problems. We worked with the principal to find out if the department of health or education had already done this and the answer was ‘not really’.

“We expected the province to have a programme like this, if they do it’s a bit erratic and testing is basic,” he says.

Powell, who has dedicated her life to making sure others have a better sight, says her love for this was planted by her brother. “My brother is seven years older than me and he was an albino. He was myopic and one day his spectacles were trampled on in the playground. His teachers had to call me to take him home because he couldn’t see. From that moment, I told myself I will help others have a better eyesight. Hence the work I’m doing today,” she says.

She adds that they are happy to bring such a service to Disa learners.

“It is really heart-warming to impact the children in such a way. One of the teachers told us one learner was struggling to see to an extent that he had to wait for everyone to be done with class, then he can move closer to the board and write.

“These are the kind of kids we want to help. We want to make things easy for them so that they can focus on the most important things,” she says.

Disa Primary School learners in Imizamo Yethu who struggle with their eyesight will soon have another pair of eyes thanks to the generosity of local organisations.

About 135 learners doing Grade R, Grade 1 and Grade 7 had their eyes tested in a pilot project made possible by the Hout Bay Rotary Club, Jonga Trust based in Khayelitsha. The project is run by Dianne Powell and her team.

Powell also runs several projects through the Lions Club of Tokai.

Learners that have bad eyesight had an opportunity to choose their frames and will have their spectacles ready in about a week’s time, all for free. Chris Eksteen, from Eksteen optometrists in Rondebosch and chairperson of the Jonga Trust, prescribed spectacles and ensured that learners had the correct strength for their glasses.

After choosing their frames the learners were also taught about the importance of looking after their spectacles and ways to do that.

The two-day pilot programme, if successful, will be rolled out to other schools in the area. It is run and funded by the Rotary. Through the help of international donors in Holland, they are able to bring these services for free to the learners.

Alan Richards, who runs the community services for the rotary, says they are happy to offer these free services to the learners. “One learner came here and when we put up fingers up in his face, he couldn’t see a thing. That learner is in Grade 6 now. Imagine how his life has been. The new pair of glasses he will soon get will be life changing,” he says.

Richards adds that this is not the first time they have done eye testing for learners. They did it on a very small scale 18 months ago. “That is when we discovered children with serious eye problems. We worked with the principal to find out if the department of health or education had already done this and the answer was ‘not really’.

“We expected the province to have a programme like this, if they do it’s a bit erratic and testing is basic,” he says.

Powell, who has dedicated her life to making sure others have a better sight, says her love for this was planted by her brother. “My brother is seven years older than me and he was an albino. He was myopic and one day his spectacles were trampled on in the playground. His teachers had to call me to take him home because he couldn’t see. From that moment, I told myself I will help others have a better eyesight. Hence the work I’m doing today,” she says.

She adds that they are happy to bring such a service to Disa learners.

“It is really heart-warming to impact the children in such a way. One of the teachers told us one learner was struggling to see to an extent that he had to wait for everyone to be done with class, then he can move closer to the board and write.

“These are the kind of kids we want to help. We want to make things easy for them so that they can focus on the most important things,” she says.

Disa Primary School learners in Imizamo Yethu who struggle with their eyesight will soon have another pair of eyes thanks to the generosity of local organisations.

About 135 learners doing Grade R, Grade 1 and Grade 7 had their eyes tested in a pilot project made possible by the Hout Bay Rotary Club, Jonga Trust based in Khayelitsha. The project is run by Dianne Powell and her team. Powell also runs several projects through the Lions Club of Tokai.

Learners that have bad eyesight had an opportunity to choose their frames and will have their spectacles ready in about a week’s time, all for free. Chris Eksteen, from Eksteen optometrists in Rondebosch and chairperson of the Jonga Trust, prescribed spectacles and ensured that learners had the correct strength for their glasses.

After choosing their frames the learners were also taught about the importance of looking after their spectacles and ways to do that. The two-day pilot programme, if successful, will be rolled out to other schools in the area. It is run and funded by the Rotary. Through the help of international donors in Holland, they are able to bring these services for free to the learners.

Alan Richards, who runs the community services for the rotary, says they are happy to offer these free services to the learners. “One learner came here and when we put up fingers up in his face, he couldn’t see a thing. That learner is in Grade 6 now. Imagine how his life has been. The new pair of glasses he will soon get will be life changing,” he says.

Richards adds that this is not the first time they have done eye testing for learners. They did it on a very small scale 18 months ago. “That is when we discovered children with serious eye problems. We worked with the principal to find out if the department of health or education had already done this and the answer was ‘not really’.

“We expected the province to have a programme like this, if they do it’s a bit erratic and testing is basic,” he says.

Powell, who has dedicated her life to making sure others have a better sight, says her love for this was planted by her brother. “My brother is seven years older than me and he was an albino. He was myopic and one day his spectacles were trampled on in the playground. His teachers had to call me to take him home because he couldn’t see. From that moment, I told myself I will help others have a better eyesight. Hence the work I’m doing today,” she says.

She adds that they are happy to bring such a service to Disa learners.

“It is really heart-warming to impact the children in such a way. One of the teachers told us one learner was struggling to see to an extent that he had to wait for everyone to be done with class, then he can move closer to the board and write. These are the kind of kids we want to help. We want to make things easy for them so that they can focus on the most important things,” she says.

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