Latter-day Saint Charities Updates

Malaysian Children Fit With Better Vision for the Future

Young girl smiles while wearing new glasses donated by LDS Charities and the Rotary Club of Kinabalu Sutera

On March 20, 2014, Dan and Colleen Allen, LDS Charities vision care volunteers, had the privilege of distributing glasses to students in the Pekan Telipok School in Telipok, Sabah, East Malaysia. LDS Charities’ partner and champion of the project Abu Bakar Sheriff, an optometrist at Merdeka Optic in Kota Kinabalu, generously offered free eye exams to the school children. Mr. Bakar is a member of the Rotary Club of Kinabalu Sutera, the group that donated all of the lenses for this project. LDS Charities furnished 1,300 children’s glasses frames. Together the lenses donated by the Rotary Club and the frames donated by LDS Charities provided many glasses to help these children.

Partnering with the Rotary Club of Kinabalu Sutera was a great experience. The organization has a great deal of experience with local humanitarian projects. In addition to providing vision care, they help supply clean water, generate electricity for villages, distribute wheelchairs and hygiene kits, and address hunger, sickness, and other health concerns. LDS Charities also partners with the Rotary Club to help fulfill other projects such as wheelchair distribution.

Eighty-one schools in outlying areas of Sabah were selected to participate in the eye testing and glasses distribution. Mr. Bakar trained the teachers at each of the 81 schools to use a simple eye chart to screen each of their students. The students who tested poorly were referred to Mr. Bakar, who invited them to have a free eye exam. After the frames arrived from LDS Charities headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the lenses were made, members of the Rotary Club distributed the new prescription glasses to 1,300 primary and secondary students.

Many lives were changed because of the time, skills, and resources that were brought together for the good of the children. Dan and Colleen were honored to be a part of this project and to see the impact two partner organizations can have in a community.