Funding for Refugee Vision Program provided by Intermountain Community Care Foundation
EyeCare4Kids Utah partnered with the LDS Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City to provide free eye care services to refugees from Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Congo, Togo and other countries as part of its Refugee Vision Program. The 25 refugees were seen by eye care professionals at the EyeCare4Kids clinic located in Midvale on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
Among the services available to the refugees were eye exams to identify any vision problems and needs; and fitting for frames and lenses if glasses are necessary.
“Hundreds of refugees have been welcomed to Utah over the last several years, with need of services from food and employment services, to housing and healthcare,” said Maggie Mitchell-Cline, executive director of Utah, EyeCare4Kids. “We wanted to do our small part to make them feel welcome, providing valuable eye care and glasses so they have one less thing to worry about as they acclimate to a new home and build their lives in Utah.”
Few of the refugees had been to an eye care professional prior to the recent visits to EyeCare4Kids. Of the 25 refugees that visited the clinic, all 25 needed glasses. They were fitted with free frames and lenses that were purchased with funding by Intermountain Community Care Foundation.
EyeCare4Kids has served more than 400,000 children since its founding in 2001. The nonprofit’s goal is to provide one million glasses by 2025. In addition to serving families at clinics in Utah, Nevada, New Jersey and Arizona, and three mobile clinics that travel to schools, EyeCare4Kids is expanding services internationally.
“We have seen first-hand how needed eye care is for children and families in Africa and other countries,” said Joseph Carbone, founder of EyeCare4Kids. “Given our experience, we jumped at the chance to work with LDS Humanitarian Services to support refugees from Sudan and Somalia, as well as Afghanistan and other countries, who are rebuilding their lives in Utah.”