If you had to prioritize your list of life’s concerns, where would you place your personal health on that list? For many, it’s most likely somewhere near the top. Unfortunately, for many of the Balinese people, life presents so many other concerns that health usually falls to the bottom.
We kept this in mind when we thought about coming to Bali. In addition to the ”Future for 500” campaign, our hope was to reach out the local community in any way possible. Hearing that many of the people don’t have the means to keep their eye sight healthy, we brought with us, several tens of pairs of donated, used, eye glasses and eye charts, in the hopes of helping even just a few.
Angel – a girl from the Utal Utal orphanage – was one of those few we were so lucky to meet, and who was so amazed by our donation. At 16 years old, she has never worn glasses in her life but clearly she needed them. She had difficulty reading from a distance, but like most of the people at Untal Untal, she doesn’t have the means to purchase glasses, even though her eyesight is deteriorating. I wondered how this girl was able to read the black board in the classroom every day.
After trying on many pairs and going through exercises to find the perfect pair, Angel’s eyes lit up. She smiled shyly as the glasses brought her eyes to 20/20 vision! And, even though it seems a bit awkward to be one of the few wearing glasses at the orphanage, she was so happy to be able to see clearly. I told her to make sure she wore them as much as possible. She nodded hurriedly and disappeared in to the hallway with a smile on her face and the glasses clutched firmly in her hand.
Angel wasn’t the only one though. Several of the women and girls went through the same exercises to try the glasses until they found a pair that met their needs. After finding their matches, the woman and girls were so grateful and happy, a couple of them excitedly dashed outside to grab their husbands – who work in the same orphanage – to show them how well they were now able to see!
We were so happy to experience how much happiness that these eye glasses brought to seven individuals at Untal Untal. But, it’s only one of the several more orphanages yet to visit, so we hope to find more “Angels” that need our help as we continue our efforts in reaching out to the local communities.