Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) is calling on volunteers to participate in a trek in Sri Lanka in March 2020, which will include a full day visit to the Warakapola Vision Centre where they will provide local people with much needed eye care services.
The 10 day Trek for Sight, which is expected to attract around 20 people from around the world, will also include four days trekking across iconic Sri Lankan sub-montane scenery such as the Knuckles Mountain Ranges, Ella Rock, and challenging Adam’s Peak at sunrise. The trek is rated 3.5/5 in terms of difficulty, with long days of walking and steep terrain.
We’re keen to provide our supporters with new and exciting ways to raise money for, and awareness of, the deficit of eye care services in the world
Time will also be spent sightseeing the Temple of the Tooth in picturesque Kandy, exploring the vibrant rainforest town of Ella, seeing the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, and getting up close and personal with elephant herds in the Udawalawe National Park.
Leigh Cleave, Global Director of Development at Optometry Giving Sight, said the trip has been planned in response to requests from OGS supporters.
“Many of our supporters are working in the optical community as optometrists, opticians or practice managers and they often ask how they can use their skills to help those in need – this is a great opportunity,” said Ms Riddell. “Limited or no access to adequate eye care means people can’t learn, work or live a full life. We’re passionate about reducing this inequality, and so are our supporters.”
She said the Trek for Sight would also give OGS supporters an opportunity to see, first hand, the projects around the world that their fund raising efforts support.
We’re asking trekkers to reach out to their networks to donate…
“We’re keen to provide our supporters with new and exciting ways to raise money for, and awareness of, the deficit of eye care services in the world. We chose Sri Lanka as our inaugural destination, not only for the spectacular trekking scenery, but because we’ve been supporting eye care projects there for 10 years through our implementing partner, Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation. We’ve been able to see the longterm outcomes of continued funding into eye care services and we wanted to share this success with our supporters.”
OGS has partnered with Soulful Concepts, a philanthropic travel design company with experience in providing responsible and sustainable travel experiences, to help provide a challenging and rewarding Trek for Sight program for supporters.
Trekkers are asked to cover the costs of their trip (including airfares and on land costs) and commit to raising a minimum of AU$3000, which will go towards funding vital eye care projects for people in need.
“We’re asking trekkers to reach out to their networks to donate so we can continue to fund much-needed eye care projects around the world. This may seem daunting, however once fundraisers get started, it’s quite easy. Family and friends are usually happy to support people they know and donate to causes that they’re passionate about. Many people also ask employers to match their donations,” said Ms Cleave.
She said as the trekkers train, fundraise and journey alongside OGS, they will have an opportunity to further engage with the organisation and learn more about its work.
“The trek itself will enable them to see their impact firsthand while providing the in-country team with a large group of volunteers in a structured capacity. This will also provide the in-country team with an opportunity to meet supporters and thank them in person.”
Ms Cleave said OGS hopes to make Trek for Sight an annual event with treks to other key areas that are supported by the organisation, such as PNG with the Kokoda Track, Vietnam, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
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