PHILIPSBURG:--- The Sint Maarten Lions Club’s Signature Vision Screening Project for this Lionistic year 2022/2023 is well underway with over 3400 students and seniors having their eyes tested for the possibility of any impaired vision challenges. The project, which started on March 13th will continue Monday through Friday until the 24th at the Lions Civic Center in Sucker Garden. Students are welcome between 8 am and 12 noon and seniors from 1:30 pm until 3 pm.
Club President Lion John Schaminee remarked: “Lions are known throughout the world for our work to improve the lives of the visually impaired and prevent avoidable blindness. Lions Clubs International proudly serves by offering unique and impactful initiatives, programs, and grants. On a local level, the Sint Maarten Lions Club took the initiative to partner with VOSH International (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) and warmly welcomed a group of 20 specialists and assistants for the project. This Signature Project is one of the many tangible ways that the Lions Club can give back to the community from our fundraising events such as the Christmas Bingo and Car Raffle.”
All Government-subsidized Primary and Secondary schools were invited and have made use of the opportunity to have their students tested, with parental consent. These schools have been scheduled and will continue to visit this week accompanied by their respective teachers and school staff, who have also been given the opportunity to be tested for any vision-impaired possibilities.
Lion Alphons Gumbs MJF, Chairperson of the Committee charged with the Signature Project commented: “As Lions, we recognize that teachers may also need assistance to have their eyes tested and understand the importance of supporting them as they play a key role in the educational development of our students. Ensuring that teachers are taken care of, brings the EyeSight Project initiative to full circle. Taking care of our teachers, so that they can in turn take care of our students for better and brighter vision in and outside the classroom educational environments is essential.”
The visiting medical professionals, some of whom are here on our island for the first time, were given "Friendly Island Hospitality", including an island tour over the past weekend to get better acquainted with our island’s history, culture, and general community structures that make us whom we are as St. Maarteners.
Lion Claudius Buncamper PMJF, accompanied by other Lion members narrated historical facts during the bus tour that included various stops at the Philipsburg Court House and Captain Hodge Wharf on Front Street and visits to various local restaurants for a taste of the island’s local cuisine.
The Vision Screening Project continues to be supported this week by volunteers from the Nurses Association of St. Maarten, the students of the American University of the Caribbean, and the Sint Maarten Lions Club members who are on rotation on a daily basis based on the time taken off or lunch breaks from their respective places of employment. The Primary and Secondary schools community is encouraged to make use of this opportunity to visit the Lions Civic Center for the final three days of free eye testing examinations whereby final numbers will pass 4000 persons served.