Jayne Thomas will travel with five other professionally-trained volunteers and will work in Ethiopia for two weeks in Ziway and Butajira.

By Hertfordshire Mercury |

An optician is getting ready to spend two weeks in Ethiopia to help tackle the population’s sight problems.

Jayne Thomas, of Mermaid Close, Hitchin, will fly to the African country on Saturday, March 5 with charity Vision Aid Overseas, which aims to fight poverty by transforming access to eye care in developing countries.

The 49-year-old, who works as an optician at Specsavers in Hitchin, said: “What we are trying to do is leave something behind and set up a vision center.

“We want to leave behind a legacy and train people while we are there, and leave skills behind so they can sustain themselves.”

Jayne Thomas will travel with five other professionally-trained volunteers and will work in Ethiopia for two weeks in Ziway and Butajira.

The team hope to change lives by giving back the gift of sight through eye tests and teaching staff skills so they can continue the work themselves.

The mother of two said: “I am a bit scared about it, it’s a huge undertaking because of safety issues, but I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be physically tough. We are going to have to carry our equipment everywhere with us and work long hours, but it will be worth it.

“We are so lucky here in the UK and have a first-class service. I want to give something back. We are so blessed, we don’t even realize how lucky we are.

“Children don’t go to school over there because they can’t see properly, and all it takes is a test and a pair of glasses to change their lives. We take for granted our good fortune.”

The team are relying on donations and fundraising to get to Ethiopia. Specsavers in Hitchin has donation posts in store.

To donate to Jayne’s project online, visit www.justgiving.com/J-Thomas3

Source: Hertfordshire Mercury
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