Optometry Students Usmaan Saleem, Amy Gumbrell and Jasmin Matharu spend two weeks in Ethiopia with Qualified Optometrists delivering life transforming eye care.

Now in their final year, Usmaan, Amy and Jasmin spent two weeks in August 2016 with qualified Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians delivering essential eye care and glasses to  children and adults in Ethiopia suffering from poor vision. 

I was nervous about what to expect as I had never volunteered overseas before. Throughout the first week of my assignment in Nekemte, Ethiopia, I saw several patients with many eye diseases which, in the UK, I would only expect to see in text books, said Usmaan



The Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund (IAMF) is a charity that supports the work of Vision Aid Overseas by providing bursaries for students studying Optometry or Dispensing Optics courses at University by providing them with an opportunity to experience eye care work in developing countries.

During my assignment I got the chance to carry out numerous sight tests with supervision, witness tropical diseases and conditions which had developed to a much greater extent than they would have in the UK, said Amy




The greatest struggle I experienced in Ethiopia was seeing patients who have suffered for a long time without glasses. It was heart rendering to see, that people lived in poverty because they could not work, as they did not have glasses, said Jasmin

Vision Aid Overseas is a charity that enables people living in poverty to access affordable eye care and glasses. Vision Aid Overseas exists so that children in Africa who can’t see can learn and get an education, and adults who can’t see can earn to support their families and contribute to their communities.

I would like to thank the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund (IAMF) for providing me this wonderful opportunity .This was a life changing experience for me, and I will be taking part in another Vision Aid Overseas assignment again!, said Usmaan

I would love the opportunity to volunteer again with Vision Aid Overseas as a qualified optometrist and would encourage students and optometrists to volunteer also, said Amy

I would also like to say thank you to all the Vision Aid Overseas staff at home that made our trip a success and to the IAMF for allowing me to have this life- changing experience, said Jasmin

If you are an Optometry or Dispensing Optics student and would like to apply for the Irvine Aitchison Memory Fund Bursary please contact us here . The next deadline is on Friday October 28th 2016.