MONROVIA-With access to vision care in Liberia extremely limited, an acclaimed non-governmental organization under the banner of Refuge Place International (RPI) in collaboration with GoodVision-USA/International has concluded the training program for 11 GoodVision Technicians (GVTs) in the period of one year.
RPI aims to address the issues of access to quality affordable health care that impacts maternal and infant mortality among poor urban and rural dwellers in Liberia.
On the other hand, GoodVision International is a renowned NGO involved in the production of eyeglass frames, training of local opticians, free vision testing, immediate assembly and fitting, and long-term service for the glasses.
Ceremony marking the graduation of the 11 new GVTs was held in the Bassa Town Chicken Soup Factory Community in the Township of Gardinersville, on the outskirt of Monrovia at the weekend. The ceremony was graced by top representatives of GoodVision-USA and GoodVision International as well as officials of RPI.
Speaking at program marking the closure of the training cycle, the Program Coordinator at RPI, Mr. Jim Saye Suah, said the initiative by the two groups (RPI and GoodVision) is geared to provide access to eye care to the underprivileged who find it increasingly difficult get such service, or are financially impotent to afford the cost attach.
According to him, the new GVTs were recruited in the community by RPI with the aim of making the community to have a sense of ownership to the program.
And with the new knowledge impacted in them, Suah urged the GVTs to deliver quality service to their people as access to eye health remains scaring.
“Now that you have been trained, it is now a charge to go out to deliver quality service to the people out there that you are going to serve,” stated Coordinator Suah.
Also under the GoodVision partnership, Suah narrated that RPI conducted 70 different outreaches (within community, school and Institution across Monsterrado County), screened over 7,000 plus persons across Montserrado County and dispensed 1,124 pairs of glasses.
Recounting the partnership between RPI and GoodVision, he explained that it began back in early 2018 following a facbook post from Jeneifer hyde in which CEO of RPI Dr. Mosoka Papa Fallah came across via Facebook and Madam Jennifer Hyde of RPI-USA in the US help extend the program to Liberia for less privileged .
However, he said the partnership got in full swing in December 2018 when CEO Fallah and an ophthalmic nurse traveled to Burkina Faso to get firsthand information of GoodVision’s operation and to understand the different work concepts.
“After many years Dr. Fallah saw a Facebook post by Jennifer about the GoodVision International work across Africa, and he decided to reach out to her for a potential partnership. When Dr. Fallah, the CEO for RPI was a kid, he suffered from eye conditions in the school, which made him travelled to Ivory Coast to obtain a pair of reading glasses,” he asserted.
Like Suah, Mr. Jomah Kollie, Executive Director of RPI, maintained that the program’s goal is to help address the many eye issues faced by needy population.
The RPI Executive Director craved the society to attach serious value to the new graduates as eye health remains of critical importance to the country.
“The Society must know the importance of these graduates because their work is key to the nation. We see the partnership with GoodVision as a unique. GoodVision wants to go to where others don’t want to go because it cares for the less fortunate,” he added.
Madam Jenifer Hyde, Executive Director of GoodVision-USA and Karsten Wolf, Executive Director of GoodVision International, praised RPI for the sound implementation of the partnership agreement.
They stressed the urgent need for access to good eye care service.
“You are the beating heart of this program. Every person on earth deserves good opportunity for good eye site irrespective of their background financially, and this is where GoodVision and RPI come in,” noted Jenifer.
“The work you do is very important to people. The glasses that we give out are important to different people in society. We want to thank RPI for making the project works. This is an addition to GVTs,” Wolf told gathering.
Also speaking at the occasion via mobile conversation from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RPI, Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah, challenged the graduates to serve with full commitment and with great sense of humility.
“You must serve from your heart because this is where the world is,” CEO Fallah urged the graduates.
He thanked GoodVision for the show of love for the people of Liberia and the RPI team for their commitment to duty and zest to serve humanity faithfully over the years.
“Thanks for your service to humanity. Thank you for serving the people of Liberia,” he added.
In remarks, a representative of the graduates, Thomas Dorbor, lauded GoodVision and RPI for the opportunity provided them to acquire new knowledge in eye health.
“We can promise you that as of today, we will optimistically make a change. We are now going to fix the problem with the requisite training that we have acquired. By this training, we are now going out into the communities, and across Liberia to serve, for there is a need for this program to be decentralized,” Dorbor on behalf of fellow graduates recommended.