Spectacles and Sight-Saving Surgeries in Central America

Sophie Poore


In August 2012 I was privileged to visit Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras in Central America, volunteering as a ‘Global Impact Fellow’ for Unite For Sight, an American non-governmental organisation. Unite For Sight was not an ordinary medical elective provider, in that clear expectations were set forth that we should not only observe, but work as volunteers, raise funds and provide spectacles. Furthermore, in their mission to apply the best practices in global health, I was to receive extensive pre-departure training, enabling an earlier transition into a culturally competent and effective volunteer. This month would teach me, not only many essential life-skills, but improved awareness of sustainable, ethical global health provision and knowledge regarding eye conditions in hot, dusty environments in the less economically developed world. Through personal observations, interactions and the absorption of Honduran culture I would learn about a culture so different to my own, allowing my world-view to shift and perspectives to change. My time in Honduras was split two ways: between the clinic and outreach camps or ‘brigadas’.

Keywords: unite for sight, elective, honduras, social entrepreneurism