In partnership with Sea Mercy we have donated 300 pairs of Eyejusters to remote communities in Fiji. Kirsten and Lars took part in one of the rotations in July 2014.
Karmoie has partnered with SeaMercy to provide Eyejusters to people in need on the islands of Fiji and Tonga. Sea Mercy administers disaster and critical care needs to remote islands that the local governments are unable to support effectively. With over 20,000 islands spread across 11,000,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean, there are no roads or power lines to connect the smaller, less populated islands to the same health care services offered on the larger islands. These areas are left without access to doctors and optometrists to assist with medical care. Sea Mercy exists to "stand in the gap" and work with the local governments and international aid organizations until the local governments can meet the people's needs on their own. They also assist in emergencies during natural disasters.
In July 2014 Karmoie travelled to Fiji to participate in SeaMercy’s first rotation in the Northern Lau Group. The Rebelle and the Dragonfly sea vessels carried a team of 20. We set up clinics in five villages. In addition to the captains and crew, the team consisted of two doctors, two dentists, one dental hygienist, two nurses, two pharmacists, one jet pilot, one accountant, six crew, one eyewear designer, one Lars, one documentary filmmaker and one coordinator.
We are happy to contribute to raising awareness about eye care in these areas. The communities we visited were rural, quite isolated and unfamiliar with glasses. Some of the seniors had previously received reading glasses through other donation programs, but we saw none of the younger locals wear prescription glasses. One young woman had previously owned a pair but ever since her glasses were broken some years ago she had not had the opportunity to visit an optician.
Our days in Cicia were very busy. We asked a local schoolgirl to help us a an interpreter. After a little while she asked us if she could try performing a vision test. She ended up taking over that testingstation for the rest of the day, with us on stand by to assist if need be. She was charming, encouraging and witty, and she did a wonderful job! The technology behind the Eyejusters is truly amazing, making it possible for us to recruit anyone who wants to participate!
SeaMercy works closely with the Fijian Heath Ministry, enabling us to coordinate our efforts with the local hospital in Lomaloma and the nurse