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Church Donates Thousands of Eyeglasses in Latin America

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in collaboration with several organizations, is donating hundreds of thousands of eyeglasses to people with a range of visual impairments in two countries in Latin America.

El Salvador

The Church of Jesus Christ has joined forces with CharityVision and the Foundation for the Development of Salvadoran Women to improve the visual health of thousands of students by donating glasses suited to their needs. Improved sight can also enhance personal and academic development.

On June 20, 2023, more than 400 students from the National Institute of Santa Ana (INSA) became the first recipients. Ophthalmologists evaluated the students and gave them prescriptions .

This project will be implemented in 50 municipalities and will benefit approximately 10,000 students at all levels.

Lisandro, an INSA student, said, “The glasses are going to help me with reading, because sometimes it is difficult for me to see what the teacher writes on the blackboard.”

Nuria Ramírez, a mother of one of the young men, said her son is nearsighted. He has not been able to wear glasses for five years. She added that she is very grateful for the donation of the glasses.

José Valladares, a local Church leader, said that the Church has always sought to serve all people. This donation benefits both young people and their parents.

“This is a way to show God’s love for His children and follow the example of Jesus Christ,” Valladares added.

Peru

In collaboration with the Pension 65 Program of the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, the nongovernmental organizations Management Sciences for Health-Peru (MSH-Peru) and Restoring Vision, the Church of Jesus Christ is providing 216,000 pairs of eyeglasses to older adults experiencing extreme poverty. The groups will distribute 166,000 pairs of reading eyeglasses and 50,000 pairs of sunglasses with UV protection.

Distribution of the eyeglasses began on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at the Coliseo Perú Japón in northern Lima, Peru. Representatives from the various organizations helped hand out the donations. The distribution event also featured a general health initiative provided by the district municipality that included services in general medicine, psychology, dentistry, nutrition, podiatry and vaccinations.

Through the “To See You Better” campaign, Pension 65 and MSH-Peru hope to prevent visual damage in older adults and grant them access to tools such as literacy programs and telephone equipment. Improved eyesight will help many resume essential daily activities previously too difficult to handle independently.

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