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Volunteer Abroad Opportunities

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  • Jennifer Staple
    Please Forward Widely _*Volunteer Abroad With Unite For Sight in Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall Make A Difference!*_ *What is Unite For Sight s Mission?
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2007
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      Volunteer Abroad With Unite For Sight in Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall
      Make A Difference!

      What is Unite For Sight's Mission? Unite For Sight (www.uniteforsight.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness.

      What Do Volunteers Do?:
      The goal of Unite For Sight and its partner eye clinics and communities is to create eye disease-free communities.  Unite For Sight’s volunteers (local and visiting) work with partner eye clinics to provide eye care in communities without previous access.  Visiting volunteers from North America range from undergraduate and medical students, educators, nurses, and public health professionals to optometrists and ophthalmologists.  The eye clinic’s eye doctors and Unite For Sight volunteers jointly provide community-based screening programs in rural villages.  The clinic’s eye doctors diagnose and treat eye disease in the field, and surgical patients are brought to the eye clinic for surgery.  Patients receive free surgery funded by Unite For Sight so that no patient remains blind due to lack of funds.

      How Do I Apply? 
      The application as well as complete details about Unite For Sight's international opportunities are available at http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer/  Programs fill quickly - apply soon for summer positions!

      Unite For Sight Film Online: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-424538484738181565&hl=en

      What Do Volunteers Say?:

      "I helped restore sight to children and their impoverished families while working with the doctors Sinhas (Dr. Ajit Sinha, Dr. Satyajit Sinha, and Dr. Pooja Sinha) at A.B. Eye Institute in Patna, Bihar. The Sinhas and I worked from 9am to 10pm almost six full days a week. We saw hundreds of patients—the Sinhas saw more patients in one day than many ophthalmologists in the U.S. see in three weeks. We diagnosed all types of eye diseases, prescribed and distributed eyeglasses I had collected in California, and performed vision-restoring surgeries on patients who had been suffering for years. While our job was not always easy, the results were always rewarding. For the first time in my life, I felt like I made an immediate and meaningful impact on peoples’ lives.

      Yet this medical work was only a small part of my journey through India. Living with the Sinhas, I had the opportunity to experience what so few foreigners ever see: the traditional life of a modern Indian family. I didn’t just travel to India, take a few pictures in front of a few historic monuments, and write off my visit as complete. Instead, I got to see part of the real India; I ate traditional meals with the family and attended a Hindu wedding. I was a minority for the first time in my life—the only white person in a sea of tanner faces. Having traveled to a state where few foreigners visit, I was confronted daily by stares and cultural blunders. Everyone I met, however, was more than happy to help me understand my misconceptions. Never before have I felt so isolated yet congruently welcomed. Like the contradictions evident in India’s very nature, I felt simultaneously productive and worthless, significant and inconsequential. Ultimately, what I took away from this experience was so much more than just an advanced understanding of ophthalmology.

      So I want to thank the organization Unite For Sight for helping get me to India. I want to thank the Sinhas for warmly accepting me into their home and work. And I want to thank the residents of India, and Patna especially, for making my journey so magnificent. You welcomed me into your country and allowed me a glimpse of its soul. Bohut Dhanyavad."--Leigha Winters, Stanford University Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Bihar, India


      "My learning experiences with Unite For Sight and Uma Eye Clinic are priceless. I don't think I would have had the opportunity anywhere else to perform phacoemulsification on a goat's eye, or to work with eye doctors to examine patients for cataracts and refractive complications. I came home with experiences that even medical students dream about. Uma Eye Clinic provided the finest teachers and doctors that enhanced my knowledge about ophthalmology. After each eye camp, about 5 patients would travel back with us in the van for cataract surgery. We the interns were able to participate in every step of the patient's journey-the screening process, patient histories, preparation for the surgery that included a myriad of clinical tests and a thorough analysis of the eyes, the surgery process, and finally watching the patient's reaction as he or she regained their vision.

      I feel that I have grown tremendously over this past summer, not only in the knowledge that I acquired from the physicians at Uma Eye Clinic, but my interactions with people in the villages and children in the schools. I am deeply indebted to Unite for Sight for giving me this opportunity to volunteer and learn about international medicine and health care."--Prachi Mayenkar, University of Missouri-Columbia BA/MD Candidate, Unite for Sight Volunteer in Chennai, India


      "This experience literally changed my life. It was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences I have ever had. If given the chance, I would do it all over again and for longer (maybe this experience is to be continued..). I learned so much about Ghana and myself. I learned that I would seriously like to consider optometry, especially so that I could come back to places like Ghana and help develop the eye care system (which lacks enough support). I am actually continuing my work as an officer in the Unite for Sight Chapter on campus. I will never forget this trip! You have no idea how much this memory means to me and what it has inspired me to do and be!"--Hafeezah Omar, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana


      "The combination of an effective, rewarding volunteer program and immersion into a fascinating culture makes Unite for Sight a wonderfully unique program and is one that I would recommend to anyone looking to make a significant impact for good in a developing area of the world.  It was a blessing to be able to provide these key services to people who normally would have been unable to afford them. An invaluable and truly touching aspect of the volunteer experience was the direct interaction I was able to have with the many patients who came to our clinic. Their genuine thankfulness for our help alone made this trip absolutely worthwhile."--Patrick Grimm, Yale University Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Patriensa, Ghana


      What Do Eye Clinics Say?: "So many people tell me to thank you and your family each day for the help you have given by giving sight to the poor. Our desire to serve and poor patients desire to see would not have been possible without the help and support of Unite For Sight." --Dr. Ajit Sinha, Director, A.B. Eye Institute; President, All India Ophthalmological Society

      "The question I have always asked myself is 'what would have happened to all these people who have benefited from Unite For Sight programs had the organization not come to their aid?' It is likely that many would have perished in their agony."--Dr. James Clarke, Crystal Eye Clinic, Ghana

      "I must say that Unite for Sight volunteers have come to give hope to the people of Tamale and Northern Region, and all of us appreciate the wonderful work these volunteers are doing for these poor and vulnerable people who otherwise would not have access to quality eye care services.  We need you more than ever to be able to achieve the VISION 2020 goal of the Right to Sight for all by the year 2020."--Dr. Seth Wanye, Eye Clinic of Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana

      What Programs Are Available?


      Spring 2007

      Africa

      Accra, Ghana View details
      May 1-15; May 15-30
      Asikuma, Ghana View details
      March 10-30
      Tamale, Ghana View details
      Flexible Dates for 3 weeks or more in February and March; April 21-May 21

      Asia

      Chennai, India View details
      February 15-March 1; March 1-15; March 15-30; April 1-15; April 15-30; May 1-10; May 1-15; May 15-30 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Jaipur, India View details
      March 10-20
      Patna, Bihar, India View details
      March 10-20; March 24-April 1; Flexible Dates for 2 weeks
      Pondicherry, India View details
      Flexible dates for 4 weeks or more.

      Summer 2007

      Africa

      Accra, Ghana View details
      May 1-15; May 15-30; June 1-15; June 1-30; July 1-31; August 1-15; August 1-30; September 1-15; September 15-30 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Asikuma, Ghana View details
      June 1-30; July 1-31
      Patriensa Village in Asante Akim District, Ghana View details
      May 22-June 22; July 27-August 25
      Tamale, Ghana View details
      May 22 - July 1; July 1 - August 18; August 18 - September 15 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)

      Asia

      Chennai, India View details
      May 1-30; May 1-10; May 10 - May 30; June 1-30; July 1-31; August 1-15; August 15-30 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Dhenkanal, Orissa, India View details
      June 1-30; July 1-31; August 1-20 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Jaipur, India View details
      August 15-30; September 1-15
      Jodhpur, India View details
      July 1-August 1
      Nellore, India View details
      July 1-31
      New Delhi, India View details
      May 1-30; June 1-30, July 1-31; August 1-25
      Patna, Bihar, India View details
      May 25 - June 10; July 1-10; July 15 - 31; August 10-20
      Pondicherry, India View details
      Flexible dates for 4 weeks or more.
      Western Thailand, Thailand View details
      May 20-July 1; July 1-August 15 Dates To Be Confirmed

      Fall 2007

      Africa

      Accra, Ghana View details
      September 1-15; September 15-30 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Tamale, Ghana View details
      August 18 - September 15; September 15 - October 15

      Asia

      Chennai, India View details
      September 1-15; September 15-30; October 1-15; October 15-31; November 1-15; November 15-30 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Jodhpur, India View details
      September 1-30, October 1-31; November 1-30
      Patna, Bihar, India View details
      Flexible Dates For 2 Weeks

      Winter 2007

      Africa

      Tamale, Ghana View details
      December 15-January 15

      Asia

      Chennai, India View details
      December 1-30; December 18-30; December 28-January 10; January 1-15; January 15-30; February 1-28; March 1-30 (volunteers may participate in more than 1 session)
      Jaipur, India View details
      December 28-January 10
      Jodhpur, India View details
      December 1-20; January 5-30
      New Delhi, India View details
      December 15-January 10
      Patna, Bihar, India View details
      December 28-January 10
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