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Beyond the confines of the classroom

Gift of Sight 2014

In September 2014, 25 students led by 2 lecturers from the Diploma in Optometry (DOPT) course spent 13 days in Surabaya, Indonesia as part of Gift of Sight 2014. This is an annual project by SP Optometry to expose students to different environment and provide primary eye care in rural settings.

During the trip, language was the most challenging issue faced by all. Even though short language courses was conducted on Bahasa Indonesia, there are many other dialects such as Javanese which had four specific sub-groups. Despite the multiple difficulties faced, the team persevered and overcame the obstacles.

“We slept with a smile although we were tired. Majority did not have glasses before we came. When we came, we gave them sight to see again. Their thankfulness gave us happiness to sleep.”

Thung Pui Yee
Year 3 student

"It was inspiring to see everyone putting in their 100% no matter how tiring we were. Everyone had a smile on their faces no matter how tough it was. It felt very fulfilling to see the villagers walk out of the area with a smile. There were a couple of setbacks but we managed to overcome it. The villagers might not show their gratitude after getting the corrected glasses but I am sure that as days go by, they would benefit from it a lot."

Nur Hidayah Binte Ahssan
Year 2 student

From this trip, students learnt to work in a different environment outside their comfort zone. At the end of the journey, strong bonding is forged and beautiful memories are kept.