More than 1,200 seniorsof Apayao benefitted fromThe EYE CARE Mission sponsored by Agkakabsat International Movement (AIM) held in Apayao, the poorest province in the CAR region. AIM is a not-for-profit organization formed out of Facebook friendships. AIM’s members have a common goal of committing to helping make our world a better place.

EyeSeeMission of the United States donated more than a thousand gently used unsorted and unclassified eyeglasses and more than 700 new and used sunglasses.Once the shipment of these eyeglasses and sunglasses arrived in Luna, Apayao, officers and members of  Quirino Women’s Organization headed by Ms. Dinia Piano Bayanivolunteered to assist in cleaning and sorting of the eyeglasses.  The Eye Care Mission was coordinated with the province’s Department of Social Welfare who identified and verified seniors 65-and older as recipients.   Barangay and senior organizations’ officials from 23 neighborhoods were then notified to help inform, gather, and assist seniors.

Dr. Aurea Tejada, a local optometrist, agreed to provide the necessary eye checkup charging only P50 (instead of P700) per senior.  Dr. Tejada and a group of volunteers conducted seven mobile eye clinics in different barangays in Luna, and at Flora and Sta. Marcela.  Apayao Planning Officer, Jeana Marie Piano Bayani, headed the overall coordination of the Eye Care Mission.  She was assisted by Department of Social Welfare Officer Cora Piano, Marjorie Beltran, Mirtel Jan Bayani, LuisitaKirtug, Virgilio Piano, EliseoTabuena, Jose Ramos,RemelynBulut, Haydee Ballesteros, and a dozen volunteers from the seniors and the women’s organizations and the local barangay officials.

After the eye checkup, the volunteers matched and labeled the eyeglasses for each recipient.  A total of 700 eyeglasses from EyeSee Organization matched our seniors.  In order to meet all the needs of the seniors who had the eye checkup, more than 500 new pairs of eyeglasses costing a discounted P500 per pair had to be ordered and paid for from donations collected from AIM’s supporters.

The 1, 200 new and used eyeglasses, all labeled and matched with each specific senior’s name were handed by Naida Raugh, Founder of Agkakabsat International Movement (AIM) to Apayao’s DSWD Officer Cora Piano on June 13, 2012.  Ms. Piano then called a meeting among all the Presidents of Senior Organizations from different barangays and gave the eyeglasses to them for distribution. To see more pictures of the EYE CARE Mission, please click on the following links.