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Did you know Sierra Leone, in West Africa, has only 3 qualified optometrists for a population of 7 million people?

And, did you know that in Kailahun District, in the east of Sierra Leone, there are only two people who can provide eye tests and glasses to over half a million people?

Lansana and Ismail, pictured above, are those two people. They are Optometry Technicians and they need your help.

For the people Lansana and Ismail serve “having poor eyesight means that you can’t educate yourself or get a job, so you are destined to remain poor for the rest of your life.”

Vision Aid Overseas, with help from Jonathan Hall Opticians, trained Lansana and Ismail, and set up the Vision Centre they work in.

However, 80% of the people in Kailahun District who need eye care live too far away to visit Lansana and Ismail.

That’s why, with your help, we want to get them a motorbike, petrol and portable eye testing equipment, so they can go help the people who need them most.

 “The poorest people can’t come to us, but we can go to them!”

Will you Donate Now to help them on their way?


Are you a Visionary?

You can become a regular donor and give a regular amount every month. This helps us to plan project budgets and expand future projects just like this one!

We call this special group of regular givers “Visionaries” because they are far-sighted people who make a real difference in their lifetime by changing how the world works. We would love you to become one of our Visionaries.

We will show you the difference you are making to real people’s lives by sharing with you their stories and photographs directly from the projects just like this one.

If you want to create your own event to fundraise towards this appeal please go to the JustGiving page for the appeal here and click on the orange 'Start fundraising' button at the top.

Will you join us?

This project has been started in partnership Jonathan Hall Opticians. Jonathan Hall and his practice have been supporting the provision of eyecare in Sierra Leone, including training and working with Lansana and Ismail, and they have pledged to help raise money for this project.

We are excited to work with Jonathan Hall Opticians on this project, and we know that together, with your help, we can bring eyecare and glasses to the poorest people in the remotest areas of Sierra Leone.

If you run an optical practice or a community group, why not join us in raising funds to get Lansana and Ismail the equipment they need?

If you would like to find out more about fundraising towards this appeal please email [email protected] 



A message from Lansana and Ismail

“Our names are Lansana Lahun and Ismail Kanneh.

We were born, and have lived all our lives, in Kailahun District in Sierra Leone. It is an extremely poor area and so we were very fortunate to be sponsored to train as Optometrist Technicians by Vision Aid Overseas. This has changed our lives so much. More importantly, this has enabled us to work at Kailahun Hospital, providing eye tests and glasses.

Around 20% of the people in Kailahun District find it easy to visit us at the hospital. Unfortunately, the other 80% are unable to visit as they live very far away, and they can’t afford to pay for the transport. That’s many thousands of people.

We are worried that these are some of the poorest people in the world, but also the most in need of eye tests and glasses. You see, having poor eyesight means that you can’t educate yourself or get a job, so you are destined to remain poor for the rest of your life.

We are the only two people able to provide eye tests and glasses in our whole district. Unless we reach these people, they will not receive the glasses they so desperately need to give them the chance to escape their poverty. Even worse, they may even lose their eyesight from eye diseases that go undetected.

But we have very hopeful and exciting news. Together with Vision Aid Overseas we are starting the Kailahun District Eye Care Project. The poorest people can’t come to us, but we can go to them! We can use motorbikes as transport, and portable optical equipment for eye testing. This way we could reach thousands of people. Just imagine the difference we can make to people with poor eyesight living in poverty!

Jonathan Hall Opticians has pledged to raise the money for Vision Aid Overseas to make this happen. We need a motorbike, petrol and eye testing equipment to allow us to do this. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any amount you can give. Every single penny you donate will go directly to our work. We will work hard every day to change the lives of our people on your behalf, and that’s our promise to you. We will also send regular reports of what we are doing and how that is changing the lives of many people.

Thank you to all the supporters of Jonathan Hall Opticians. Together we are helping the world to see.”

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Our work in Sierra Leone

Vision Aid Overseas has been working in Sierra Leone for some time and has been working to develop both eyecare infrastructure and eyecare provision. This has been carried out by setting up Vision Centres (four so far), training eyecare professionals (15 Optometry Technicians trained), and ongoing work to improve Primary Eye Care and Child Eye Care.

To find out more about the rest of our work in Sierra Leone click here >>>