Gift of Sight is an annual project to primarily promote service-learning and a platform for Singapore Polytechnic Optometry (DOPT) students to exercise teamwork and develop leadership qualities. At the same time, it allows students to apply clinical skills as well as providing vision screening for the locals and dispensing of recycled prescription glasses for locals who require spectacle correction.
In 2013, two teams of DOPT students, led by their lecturers, embarked on a service-learning journey to Laos and Vietnam. During the two weeks journey, each team faced many challenges, ranging from the sweltering heat, language barriers to physical and mental fatigue.
Throughout the trip, students learned the importance of teamwork not just within themselves but also with the local volunteers. Importantly students learnt to overcome obstacles and be appreciative of things they have back home.
The smiles of the villagers when they finally got to see the world clearly gave the teams much meaning and motivation.
“Although we were not able to help everyone, but knowing that a portion had benefited is enough for us for now…”
Strong friendships are forged and strengthened over the span of two weeks. From this trip, they learnt more about each other and managed to create new friendships and memories which will not be easily forgotten.