In China’s small villages, schools can be dark places where children squint and strain to see their lessons. Many schools have no electricity, and if it’s raining outside, classrooms can be completely dark.
Many struggle to see, but they don’t have the means to travel to the city to have their eyesight checked.
That’s where Global Partners comes in.
“Over the years we have hosted an optometrist whose heart is to help those who are having trouble seeing see better and to help those who are starting to have problems to prevent them from getting worse,” said a Global Partners worker. “Clinics are arranged in rural village schools, eye checks are done and a small percentage of children are determined to need prescription glasses. The glasses are purchased locally and then taken back and handed directly to the child.”
At a clinic this past spring after receiving her glasses and trying them on, an elementary student exclaimed, “Everything is so clear!”
In 2010, GP facilitated eye exams for 1,700 children in 10 elementary schools. Ninety pairs of prescription glasses were given to elementary school students who needed them.
One little first grader was said to be delayed. When given the eye exam she could not even answer or determine what was being asked of her. After more thorough examination the doctor prescribed a very heavy prescription. When the glasses were fitted on this girl, she responded correctly to the questions being asked of her. She was not used to receiving things so she tried to give the glasses back. When told they were hers to keep, she joyfully skipped off.
GP hosted two parenting seminars in 2010, which 50 people attended. These parents are striving to become better parents and better understand their children. They discussed how they can more accept their children while also helping them establish boundaries to help them grow up with a healthy self-image and a healthy idea of how they can contribute to their communities.
Global Partners also invited and hosted English-speaking teams that taught English and sports at middle schools and colleges. Hundreds of Chinese students had opportunities to improve their spoken English while learning about world cultures or improving their skills in basketball.