Since its inception 15 years ago, our journey to bring the gift of sight to the people of Sumba has been nothing short of extraordinary. Dr. Mark Ellis AM, alongside Mr. Peter Lewis OAM and Mr. Peter Stewart OAM, first set foot on the shores of Sumba Island, Indonesia, in 2007.Witnessing the urgent need for eye care services, they founded the Sumba Eye Program (SEP), a beacon of hope for the visually impaired.
This year, once again, the Foresight’s team embarked on more crucial expeditions to Sumba. These missions have become lifelines for the people of Sumba, offering vital eye examinations and affordable spectacles, all in pursuit of better eye health on the island.
Collaborating with representatives from local stakeholders, PERDAMI, UNHAS but also internationally with a newly formed partnership with OneSight/Essilor, we fortified our mission to brighten lives.
Our visit to Sumba was guided by three primary goals, each representing a crucial step toward our vision:
Conduct a Full Week of Outreach Eye Clinics in Remote Villages:
The heart of our mission beats in the remote villages of Sumba. Here, we conducted a full week of outreach eye clinics, reaching deep into the heart of the island to provide essential eye care services. The joy and relief we witnessed in the eyes of those we served as a reminder of the profound impact we can have when we work together.
Conduct Training and Development in Local Schools:
We recognize that the future lies in the hands of the next generation. During this trip, we extended our outreach to local schools, where we conducted eye examinations for preschool children. By identifying and addressing eye health issues early, we hope to ensure a brighter, clearer future for these young minds.
Continue working with the local communities toward establishing two permanent Eye Clinics:
Our commitment to sustainable impact remains unwavering. These clinics will serve as beacons of hope, providing ongoing care to those in need long after our expeditions have concluded.
Education systems in developing countries often fail to accommodate disabled children’s needs, causing them to fall behind or drop out. In some cases, something as simple as poor eyesight can hinder a child’s ability to learn. But amidst these challenges, there is hope. Improved screening tools to identify disabilities early and ensure proper support. However, many countries, like Indonesia lack the resources for comprehensive evaluations of children screening positive for disabilities, hindering their access to necessary care.
As we reflect on this journey, we see a tapestry woven with threads of compassion, dedication, and hope .Each of you who has supported us is an integral part of this tapestry, and together, we are creating a brighter future for the people of Sumba.
In the face of challenges and uncertainties, our resolve remains unshaken. With your continued support, we will keep moving forward, bringing light to the lives of those who have waited in darkness for far too long. Thank you for being the guiding star in our quest for better eye health in Sumba.