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Humanitarian mission sees the way

The owner of Dr. Specs Optical, Catharine Goheen, is preparing to head to Africa on Wednesday.

She'll be working as a Rotary Volunteer, evaluating a Rotary project that assists children in a number of African communities.

She'll also be helping the region's poor to literally see a better way.

“While in the poorer communities of Cameroon, it is an excellent opportunity to deliver glasses to the areas that are in the greatest need,” says Goheen.

As she has done for the last 18 years, Goheen, will keep some reading glasses in her back-pack.

As she travels to the smaller communities near the city of Bamenda, she will hand out the reading glasses to women who want to keep working, but can no longer see things up-close.

"Many women in Third World Countries feed their children by sewing, weaving, embroidering, or on a piece work basis. They often sell their products cheaply to tourists. Once they turn 35 to 40 years-old, the ultra violet rays from the sun has damaged their eyes prematurely. Now, they can not see close to perform their craft, and often they must rely on their children to work full time to support the family," says Goheen

Cameroon borders Nigeria on the west and Congo and the Central African Republic on the east coast. The Atlantic Ocean borders the south.

"I haven’t been to Cameroon before, but it is reported that one can see all the diversity that Africa offers in this one country. Unfortunately, they do not have a lot of tourists, which usually helps a third world economically."

Before Goheen leaves, she is hoping to collect as many pairs of unwanted eyeglasses she can get.

In the past, Dr. Specs Optical has organized collection drives which have led to the distribution of eyeglasses 27 different countries.

Goheen adds she hopes to fill two suit-cases with reading glasses, prescription glasses and sun glasses for Cameroon.

Anyone who has extra reading glasses, prescription and non prescription sunglasses, Bifocals, Progressive, or distant glasses are invited to drop them off at Dr. Specs Optical in Orchard Plaza near Save On Foods, or in the Penticton Plaza near Shoppers Drug Mart.

You can also phone 250-861-1585 for more information.

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