On 23 April Evidente, a charitable mission from The Netherlands arrived in Ukraine with the support Henri Nouwen foudation. For over 4 years foreign specialists together with young doctors from Ukraine have been providing free eye exams to disadvantaged Ukrainians. This year exams will be given at the Caritas L’viv UGCC, the Caritas Ivano-Frankivs’k UGCC, the Caritas Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy of the UGCC and at Tavor, a centre for the disabled in Novyy Rozdil.
During the first day of work in L’viv, over 80 individuals were examined. Among them were elderly and isolated clients of the Centre for Social Assistance, the disabled, pre-school children who are clients of the crisis centre, adolescents from the Mobile Work with Street Children project and children from the Vynnyky Specialized Orphanage School.
After the exams some individuals immediately obtained glasses; others will be sent glasses made for them in Holland within the next few months.
“Among the more difficult cases was a 4 year old girl who was severely cross-eyed. Her father was reluctant to address the problem until organizers stepped in and initiated a lengthy discussion. Only a handful of children examined on the first day had normal vision.
Unfortunately, dysfunctional families often pay little attention to their children’s health and children themselves have no idea that they might be able to see better.
For this reason the responsibility to intervene routinely falls on public and private social service organizations,” says Vitalik Herasimov, Coordinator of the Social Centre for Children in L’viv.
Evidente visits various countries. Foreign doctors, with persistence, optimism and devotion travel and make eyeglasses for the less fortunate at their own expense. They say that by participating in Evidente, they are able to offer assistance to those who need it most. Ukrainian patients express their gratitude and are amazed at how well they are treated, the positive atmosphere and goodness which emanates from these missionaries.