Volunteer Abroad Opportunity: Unite for Sight

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
May 19, 2008 / 0 comments

Unite For Sight Volunteer Abroad Opportunities: As Featured Weekly On CNN International and Recently in The New York Times

Volunteer Abroad in Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring: http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer


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/

Who Is Eligible To Volunteer Abroad?: Volunteers are 18 years and
older, and there is no upper age limit. Volunteers range from
undergraduate/college students to medical and optometry students,
public health students and professionals, business students, filmmakers
and photographers, nurses and nursing students, social workers,
physician's assistants, teachers and educators, opticians, optometrists
and ophthalmologists.

Unite For Sight welcomes volunteers who may not have previous health or
eye care experience. Volunteers receive all necessary training from
Unite For Sight so that they are able to assist eye doctors with
community eye outreach programs. Unite For Sight also welcomes
volunteers to participate as photographers and filmmakers.

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

Unite For Sight's work to prevent blindness and restore sight is
featured weekly on CNN INTERNATIONAL from September 2007-August 2008.

What Do Volunteers Do?: Volunteers receive hands-on clinical experience
while assisting doctors in remote, rural villages. Volunteers learn
about international health and eye care, learn clinical skills while
working with patients and doctors, and, in one program location, have
an opportunity to practice cataract surgery on a goat's eye.

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. 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.
Volunteers immediately see the joy on patients' faces when their sight
is restored after years of blindness. These memories last a lifetime.

While helping the community, volunteers are in a position to witness
and draw their own conclusions about the failures and inequities of
global health systems. It broadens their view of what works, and what
role they can have to insure a health system that works for everyone
and that leaves no person blind in the future.

What Do Volunteers Say?:

"During my volunteering experience, I realized that Unite for Sight's
service is a campaign for the salvation of humanity that allows the
light of compassion to shine through each of us. I believe it is this
display of altruism and commitment that makes the organization's
service so virtuous and treasured by both volunteers and patients.
After all, making a difference in the world is not so difficult if only
one would care enough to sacrifice a part of oneself in order to change
the world for the better. My experience as a Unite for Sight volunteer
has inspired me to dedicate my future career to serving underprivileged
communities around the world."—Chiwing "Jessica" Qu, Yale University
Undergraduate Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Chennai, India

"I can honestly say that everything I learned in 3 years of medical
school paled in comparison to the 3 week experience I had in Accra
(Ghana) in October 2007 as part of Unite For Sight. The program
provides volunteers with a unique and hands-on involvement -- being
able to help out to the level of your training and comfort. My
experience taught me that Ghanaian people are the friendliest people I
have interacted with anywhere in the world, that ordinary people
involved with Unite For Sight are making extraordinary differences, and
that sitting in a classroom receiving a world-class education cannot
match real life experiences while volunteering."--Varun Verma, UMDNJ
Medical Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana

"While in Ghana, I worked with an ophthalmologist (Dr. James Clarke),
two eye nurses (Robert Dolo, Kartee Karloweah), an assistant (Bismark
Boryor), and a coordinator (Seth). Working with the Unite for Sight
team on these outreaches in service to these wonderful people of Ghana
was the single most rewarding work I've done in my life. The people of
Ghana are some of the friendliest and most thankful of anyone I have
ever met. Overall, the experience has changed the way I view the world,
my own country, and my role in the world forever. The only way to
understand the way 4/5 of the world lives is to go yourself and get
involved. The staff I worked with that are the heart and soul of Unite
for Sight in Accra were some of the brightest and hard working
individuals I have ever met. They are accomplishing feats few ever
accomplish in their lives, and I am truly blessed to have had the
opportunity to work with them and now call them my friends. I look
forward to future work with Unite for Sight as an Ophthalmologist. The
task at hand in Ghana, and I'm sure in all of Unite for Sight's
locations throughout the world, is enormous. The more people that get
involved, the more accessible services will be to these wonderful
people. Plain and simple, the more we help, the more people can see the
world they live in!"—Brian Fowler, Medical Student at University of
Virginia, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana

Hundreds of volunteer narratives, volunteer diaries, as well as videos
of alumni volunteers and partner eye doctors are available on the Unite
For Sight website: http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer


All information contained herein provided by Unite for Sight.