Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 



Seeing is Believing

Abby optometrists raise funds in Oct for global charity

Debby Maxwell, High Street Eyecare, Abbotsford



ocal optometrists Drs. Harbir Sian and Harleen Takhar of Highstreet Eyecare are taking part in the World Sight Day Challenge during October to help give the gift of vision to people in underserved communities around the world.

Now in its 10th year, the World Sight Day Challenge is the largest annual global fundraising campaign to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and glasses. The campaign is run by global charity, Optometry Giving Sight.

Highstreet Eyecare will participate in the Challenge by donating a portion of all exam fees during the month of October and participating throughout October by selling baked goods and sweets at the office, all to help the more than 600 million people in the world who are blind or vision impaired because they do not have access to an eye exam or glasses.

“We have supported Optometry Giving Sight since our clinic opened 3 years ago,” said Dr. Sian.  “Preventable blindness is a solvable problem and we are proud to help give better vision to those in need. Most people are surprised to learn that for as little as $5 someone living in an underserved community can be provided with an eye exam and a pair of glasses to transform their lives. Everyone can make a huge difference and we are thrilled to be contributing to the challenge.”

Participating is easy – simply make a single or monthly donation before the end of October. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1 million globally in 2016.

Socheata is 17 years old and in her final year of studies. She recently received an eye examination as part of a School Eye Health program at her school in Cambodia part funded by Optometry Giving Sight.  “When I was in grade 11, I was really struggling to see,” she said. “I found trying to see or read long distance an immense struggle, especially while the teacher was writing on the board. Once I received my glasses I started to use them often for travelling to school, especially for school time and doing house work. I felt comfortable wearing my glasses and was no longer getting dizzy or suffering from headaches from straining my eyes”.

To date, Optometry Giving Sight has disbursed funding from donors and sponsors to 106 projects in 42 countries. For more information, go to     

Highstreet Eyecare is located at 3122 Mt. Lehman Rd. (in Highstreet Mall). Call 604 852 0164 to schedule an appointment.

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) as part of the VISION 2020 Global Initiative. It is supported by eye health organizations around the world – including Optometry Giving Sight - and is included on the official World Health Organization (WHO) calendar. This year’s World Sight Day is on October 13th. This year’s call to action is: Stronger Together.

Optometry Giving Sight is the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error (URE) – simply the need for an eye examination and glasses.

It was established in 2003 by the World Council of Optometry, the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness as a means of mobilizing support from the global eye care profession and industry to help eliminate the backlog of people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired – currently estimated at more than 600 million worldwide. It is a registered charity in Canada.

Optometry Giving Sight funds the development of sustainable eye and vision care projects in communities where these do not currently exist. These projects focus on local training and capacity building; infrastructure development and the delivery of accessible and affordable vision care services.

How donations can help:

• $50 can help provide a study kit to an optometry student

• $100 can help provide 20 people with access to an eye exam and glasses

• $300 can help to provide a child size trial frame for a community based vision centre

• $1,200 could pay a month's salary for an optometrist to see up to 40 patients a day




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