Home Missions Medicine Medicine News A bright future with clear eyesight

A bright future with clear eyesight

Monday, 21 August 2017 17:5 PM | ARTICLE BY | Chloe Dela Cruz
The students of Sisters of Mary Girlstown wear their eyeglasses and are all smiles in showing their gratitude to Tzu Chi. With them are their mentors, Tzu Chi volunteers, and Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) volunteer doctors.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi Foundation on August 21 distributed 524 pair of eyeglasses to the students of Sisters of Mary: 8 pairs for the nuns, 328 pairs for Girlstown students, and 188 pairs for Boystown students.
  • For the Sisters of Mary community, Tzu Chi Foundation not only gives them eyeglasses but also hope to see the bright future ahead of them. They also see this as the manifestation of Master Cheng Yen’s love for everyone.

Every student has his or her own dreams and aspirations that they want to realize. But realizing these visions is quite difficult with poor eyesight.

Grade-8 student Marian Velitario and Grade-11 student David Ferry experience bullying sometimes because of their poor vision. Velitario squints, while Ferry struggles with nearsightedness.

“I experience bullying from my classmates, they call me boy with blurry eyes and they will make fun of me,” says Ferry. “My classmates notice that both of my eyes are looking on different directions. They call me squint girl. When I tell this to my mother, she cries because she is not aware of what I’m going through,” Velitario narrates.

Both have difficulty reading what’s written on the board. Sometimes, they mistake friends and contacts for someone else. When Tzu Chi Foundation arrived bearing the gift of clearer eyesight, they hope to be able to avoid such inconveniences and prepare for the future better.

“Now that I have better eyesight, I can now read clearly, and I can see every person that will greet me. It will be a great help to my study, it will also help me to land a good job in the near future” says Velitario.

“I believe that Tzu Chi Foundation does not only give us eyeglasses but they also give us hope. Hope to see the bright future ahead of us,” adds Ferry.

Tzu Chi, on July 23, conducted its 226th Medical Mission at the Sisters of Mary Girlstown Complex in Silang, Cavite. Catering to 2,149 students and staff members from the Girlstown and Boystown schools, the mission offered free consultations and treatment in dentistry, ENT (ears, nose, and throat), pediatrics, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), dermatology, and ophthalmology

A total of 719 students and teachers had their eyes checked, of which 524 were advised to wear eyeglasses. On August 21, Tzu Chi volunteers returned to deliver the pairs, fulfilling their promise.

For Sis. Gevalyn Marfa, her eyeglasses are a big help especially when teaching.

“I am a teacher of Catechism and I experience few problems due to my poor eyesight. Before, it’s hard for me to see the children who sit at the back part of the room. I am also experiencing severe headache that makes me feel irritated, that is why I easily get mad when my students are noisy,” says Marfa.

Postulant (candidate for becoming a nun) Camila Aviles, who aids teachers in classroom instruction, says that the blessing she received from Tzu Chi will make her more efficient at work. She calls the eyeglass her tool to help more people and expresses her gratitude to the Buddhist organization.

“I would like to say thank you on behalf also of the children who received these graces, which came from you freely. To be honest, we don’t have the capability to provide eyeglasses for our students. This is such a big privilege for us. Thank you!” says Aviles.

Appreciation of hard work

The students of Sisters of Mary reside in the respective dormitories inside the campus. As their families can only visit them once a year, they feel happy whenever they have guests.

Tzu Chi, however, is no ordinary guest, but rather a blessing from above to help the students make their lives better. For that matter, some thought of a good way to give back to Tzu Chi: a letter for the volunteers and Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) volunteer doctors.

“When we found out that Tzu Chi Foundation will visit us again, my friends and I decided to make a letter for the volunteers and for the doctors. This is our way of showing our utmost gratitude for their time, love, care, and service that they have given to us,” says April Kwin Lecetivo, a nearsighted Grade-11 student who benefitted from Tzu Chi’s eyeglasses.

TIMA ophthalmologist Adriene Elizabeth Lim appreciates the sweet gesture of the students. According to her, it inspires her to help the needy because she knows that people appreciate her deeds.

“I feel very, very happy and proud and amazed because of their creativity. You can see in the artwork that they did it meticulously. And they are very gifted in writing,” remarks Lim.

Sis. Eva Aringo, Boystown principal, also utters her word of thanks for the Buddhist organization.

“On behalf of the Sisters of Mary family, we want to say thank you very much to Tzu Chi Foundation. That one really is a very big help for the students. Our students come from the poorest of the poor while the school doesn’t have the capability to provide eyeglasses for all of them,” says Aringo.

She also emphasizes the positive outcome brought by the eyeglasses to the students. While small, the eyeglasses will bring wonders to the life of every recipient.

“Because of that, they will be able to focus more in school. They can see the writings on the board and I’m very sure that the performance of the students will really be very good,” she adds.


Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2017 17:5 PM

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