Tuesday, March 8, 2011

World Book Encyclopedia Donation Arrives on Rarotonga!!

A big thank you to Volunteer Nancy, Global Volunteers' staff & host partners and World Book Encyclopedia for allowing this great donation effort to happen!

Please take a peek at a few photos below of the encyclopedias arriving at a local school and the students diving right into learning!

Here a student takes his first crack at sign language!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eyeglasses for Island Children

This is Sunday morning at the Kii Kii Motel in the beautiful Cook Islands. I'm sitting on a landing coming down the steps from my motel room. I discovered this is the best place to sit to use the internet. I'm in the shade, have a lovely ocean breeze, look out at the mountain that is the center of the island, and line up perfectly with the wifi signal from the motel office.

Sunday mornings are usually a lazy time here. All the locals are in church and no shops are open. But surprisingly, I got a phone call. It was from the mom of one little girl whose eyesight I tested. I had sent the girl home with a note from me (printed on school letterhead to make it look more official). My note to her parents said that based on my testing, the girl might need glasses. Then I gave them information on the steps they needed to take to get glasses at no cost. The reason the mom called me is that the girl already has glasses. The mom had no idea her daughter wasn't wearing them at school.

On an island where very few people wear glases, there is a stigma attached to being the odd one who doesn't have perfect vision. My guess is the little girl will be wearing them in the future. While talking about the little girl, her mom asked about getting glasses for her son. He attends a high school where we have not yet done the screening. He has told his mom that his vision is blurry. and she wondered if he was eligible for our eye glass program. I assured her that he was. She is going to make an appointment with the eye doctor to get a prescription and then order glasses from us.

I got my local Lions' Club to make a donation of $1,000 in 2010 to buy glasses for the kids here, and made a web page on Global Volunteers' site to ask my friends for matching donations. I raised about $3,000 there to buy glasses I brought with me for the students. The children and their parents are very grateful!
- Susan Koralik,Cook Islands volunteer