Vision Aid Overseas’ Programme Officer works with A.M.E.N Angola to establish their first optical workshop.

Vision Aid Overseas was recently approached by A.M.E.N Angola, who had been donated equipment to set up an optical workshop in their Missionary centre in Funda, on the outskirts of the capital Luanda.  The centre helps over 20,000 adults and children who live in the local area, and currently includes a school, medical centre, pharmacy and a bakery.

The brand-new equipment came with a stock of frames and lenses, but they were lacking the expertise to install it and train people how to use it.  Vision Aid Overseas’ Zambia Programme Officer David Mwitumwa, who has been instrumental is setting up and maintaining 11 Vision Centres in Zambia, visited the centre to install the workshop and train four technicians on how to use and maintain the equipment.  By installing an optical workshop to produce glasses, they hope to be able to offer real help to those living with sight problems in the country.

In addition to the optical workshop, David assisted the team to set up a dispensing room within the centre, helping to organise the glasses to manage stock levels and ensure that the technicians had easy access to each of the machines. The four technicians received both theoretical and practical training from David over the course of his visit, and by the end of the 2 weeks were able to glaze the glasses to a high quality for many people in the community who visited the centre with their prescriptions.

David said;

Seeing the four technicians glazing glasses by the end of the two weeks was such an achievement.

Thanks to A.M.E.N Angola and David, the local community will no longer have to travel into the city to purchase a pair of glasses.

Vision Aid Overseas’ Director of Programmes, Anne Buglass, said; 

We are pleased to have been able to assist A.M.E.N Angola in the development of their optical workshop which will serve a large community who would have otherwise had to travel far and pay a high price for a pair of glasses. We support A.M.E.N’s ambition to have an optometrist permanently based in Funda so that in future people do not have to travel to the capital to get their eyes tested.  We look forward to hearing how the project develops to meet the needs of the local community and beyond.