Grace Vision’s COVID-19 Response

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Grace Vision’s primary eye care programme to remote clinics in the rural Eastern Cape, has been suspended. The safety of our elderly and compromised patients who are at high risk is of paramount importance. Cataract surgeries are also on hold. Presently, our optometrist, Don Thorrold, attends to urgent and emergency eye care only at our Grace Vision office based on the grounds of Zithulele Hospital.
While it is still unsafe to resume our programme in its entirety, we continue serving our patients who require critical care. Chronic eye medication, as well as glasses, are delivered to local clinics for collection by our patients.
Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic together in this time of need, we have partnered with other NGO’s in the area. Our field staff are assisting with making cloth masks and delivering valuable COVID-19 information, soap, sanitizer, and vegetable seeds to families in the community. Grace Vision’s vehicles, drivers, medical facilities, and accommodation have been made available to the Zithulele Hospital Management should they be required.
We sincerely thank all our corporate and private donors who continue to support us during this challenging season. We look forward to resuming our entire programme as soon as it is safe to do so. 

“AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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Grace Vision Blog

Meet Lwazi

 

Lwazi is a 17 year old boy, currently only in Grade 7 at a rural school near Canzibe Hospital. 17 year old boys should be either in grade 12, or already finished high school. However, Lwazi has been unable to pass any grade up to 2018, and was merely pushed up due to his age.

When Grace Vision visited the school, we discovered that Lwazi was legally blind, only able to see blurred images of what was in his field of vision. If he held something up against his nose, he could barely make out what it was.

Our Optometrist prescribed some very strong prescription glasses for him, and I was privileged to be at the school, filming our next video update, when he was fitted with them.

For the first time in his life, Lwazi was able to focus on the blurry images in front of him, and see what a human face really looks like. The teacher had been writing on the chalk board, and after his glasses were fitted, we asked him to read it. Silly question, as he was unable in his 17 years to learn how to read. In addition, while we were able to restore his sight to some level of normalcy, Lwazi has become a recluse over the years, isolated from participating at school, and in the community.

It was indeed an emotional moment for us all, and a humbling experience, being able to help Lwazi restore his sight. However, it grieved us that we were not able to discover him 10 years earlier.

Grace Vision is dedicated and committed to ensuring that disadvantaged children like Lwazi, living in forgotten rural communities of our country, have a visual level playing field when starting out their schooling.

While over the past 3 years Grace Vision has screened over 28,000 learners in the rural areas of the old Transkei, and corrected the vision of all who needed it, we are merely scratching the surface of the need.

My heart goes out to young learners like Lwazi, many of whom do not even KNOW that they are unable to focus, since blurred vision has been all they have experienced from a very young age.

Fortunately, only about 800 of the 28,000 screened so far have needed correction. It doesn’t seem like much, for each of those young lives, it has changed their lives for the good, allowing them to achieve their full potential.

I am reminded of the story of the ‘Star thrower’, who every morning walked along a stretch of beach tossing stranded star fish washed up on the beach overnight back into the water. A passer-by asked him why he bothers, when there were thousands of starfish washed up each night, and we really was NOT making any difference, really. The man picked up a star fish, tossed it into water and said ‘It made a difference to THAT one!”

I trust that we at Grace Vision will ALWAYS be at the coalface of the hour of need for the forgotten poor of our country and make a difference!

Blessings to you all,

John Rae

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Grace and Dignity

NPC: 1998/18381/08
NPO: 006-142 NPO
PBO: 930 027 945

Operational Address:

Zithulele Mission
Hospital
Zithulele Village
Mqanduli District 5080
Eastern Cape
South Africa

Physical Address:

4 Kendal Mews
134 Main Rd, Diep River
Cape Town
7800

Mailing Address:

PO Box 290
Plumstead 7801
Cape Town
South Africa

Grace Vision’s COVID-19 Response

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Grace Vision’s primary eye care programme to remote clinics in the rural Eastern Cape, has been suspended. The safety of our elderly and compromised patients who are at high risk is of paramount importance. Cataract surgeries are also on hold. Presently, our optometrist, Don Thorrold, attends to urgent and emergency eye care only at our Grace Vision office based on the grounds of Zithulele Hospital.
While it is still unsafe to resume our programme in its entirety, we continue serving our patients who require critical care. Chronic eye medication, as well as glasses, are delivered to local clinics for collection by our patients.
Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic together in this time of need, we have partnered with other NGO’s in the area. Our field staff are assisting with making cloth masks and delivering valuable COVID-19 information, soap, sanitizer, and vegetable seeds to families in the community. Grace Vision’s vehicles, drivers, medical facilities, and accommodation have been made available to the Zithulele Hospital Management should they be required.
We sincerely thank all our corporate and private donors who continue to support us during this challenging season. We look forward to resuming our entire programme as soon as it is safe to do so. 

“AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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