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Beyond the confines of the classroom

Gift of Sight 2015

In September 2015, two teams of SP Optometry students and staff embarked on overseas service-learning trips to Myanmar and Indonesia. Gift of Sight provides a platform for Singapore Polytechnic students to exercise teamwork and develop leadership qualities. In addition, it exposed students to providing eye care in rural settings and provide visual aids to the locals.

Team Myanmar consisted of 25 students and two staff, who spent two weeks visiting villages and bringing eye care services to the locals. Over the two weeks, a total of 2029 people were screened and 1300 optical appliances were dispensed.

The Indonesia team spent six days in Medan, North Sumatra, consisting of 20 students and two staff. Throughout the six days, they visited many schools to provide eye care for the young children in Medan. 2287 people were screened and 647 glasses were dispensed to those that required it.

Throughout the trip, students learnt to overcome obstacles such as language barrier and the importance of teamwork not just within themselves, but also with the local volunteers.

Team Myanmar and Team Medan, on the day of departure

“Seeing the locals who are able to see clearly once again made me feel like I was indeed part of rebuilding their lives through giving sight.”

Lim Zhao Zheng
Current Year 3 student
Team Myanmar

“YEP Myanmar is not about where the place we served in, neither is it about the level of harshness of the living conditions we had lived in, but it is about the heart of service and the learning experiences that shaped our perspectives.”

T Vicknaswari
Current Year 3 student
Team Myanmar

“The friendship we forged, the many things we learnt and the satisfaction we felt from being able to help others are beyond words.”

Lee Ho Yin
Current Year 2 student
Team Medan

“I am grateful that we were able to make a difference in their lives as they, in return taught me how fortunate we in Singapore are, and to make better on-the-spot decisions during screenings.”

Siti Syahmah Binte Zulkifli
Current Year 3 student
Team Medan