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Giving TOMS Shoes in the DRC
Founded by Ben Affleck in 2010, ECI is an advocacy and grant-making organization that works with and for the people of DRC, the third most populous country in Africa, and one that struggled under a cycle of violence for nearly 20 years – particularly in the east. Read More >>
Name: Waris Ali
Location: Quetta, Pakistan
Giving Partner: CHEF International
Service Provided: Prescription eyeglasses
When 13-year-old Waris visited Giving Partner CHEF International’s Community Vision Center in his hometown of Quetta Pakistan for an eye exam, the staff could tell he was eager to have his vision screened. Holding on tightly to his father’s and uncle’s hands, he explained to the eye care staff that he loved to study and go to school, but was having a lot of trouble seeing the blackboard and reading his books. Sometimes, even when he would sit up in the front of the class, he was unable to see.
Since birth, Waris has had a Vitamin A deficiency, which resulted in high myopia (nearsightedness, which makes distant objects seem blurred). Despite his impairment, Waris was determined to study at his local public school, but was not scoring high grades. By the time he reached sixth grade, Waris had to drop out and his parents were advised to enroll him in a special education school. He was disappointed; he really wanted to study with his peers, but felt like his dreams were out of reach.
Supported by CHEF International and the TOMS Sight Giving model, the staff at the Community Vision Center (CVC) screened Waris for refractive error and determined that he needed prescription glasses. The CVC in Quetta is one of 10 rural facilities that CHEF International has set up for easy access by families in need. With its local staff and convenient daily service hours, the CVC offers eye examinations, eyeglasses, minor treatments, and extensive community and school screening for eye problems.
With his new glasses, Waris was so excited to head back to school.
“I have experienced many problems throughout my studies, but now will be on the same track as my class fellows,” he shared excitedly. “Now I can pursue my goals and fulfill my dreams.”
Since receiving his new glasses, Waris has returned to his routine activities independently. He is now back in school without any help, and reading the same books as his friends in class. After school, he enjoys playing games with his siblings and friends.
As we gear up for World Sight Day on 10.11.12, we’re looking forward to sharing more stories of those around the world who have had their sight restored or treated thanks to our dedicated Giving Partners and the One for One model. To learn more about World Sight Day, visit www.TOMS.com/world-sight-day.