The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Beaches and Sandals Resorts, is reaffirming its mission to assist needy residents across several Caribbean islands to access much needed health care services. The Foundation has expanded its partnership with US-based charity organization Great Shape! Inc iCare Project to host their first free eye care clinic in the Turks and Caicos. This was the project’s first clinic outside of Jamaica where they have served over 29,000 residents over the past 9 years.
With 42 volunteers from the USA, Canada, UK, Jamaica and Australia consisting of, among others, 7 optometrists, 1 ophthalmologist, 5 registered nurses, and 6 opticians, the clinic provided hypertension and glucose screening, full eye exams, sunglasses, reading glasses, and prescription glasses to 2,482 Turks and Caicos Residents.
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said the expansion of the clinic to the Turks and Caicos was another indication of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting residents across the Caribbean.
“We are very pleased to see the expansion of this much-needed clinic to benefit even more people who are in need of eye care services. Health Care is one of the basic needs of every human being and we are thrilled to bring this service to the residents of the Turks and Caicos, some of whom might otherwise not have the opportunity or resources to get their eyes checked,” Clarke said. The clinic was set up at the Community Fellowship Centre Church on Leeward Highway, Providenciales from July 30 to August 3.
Director of the Great Shape! iCare project, Steven Stern, said they had hoped to treat over 1000 patients over the five days. “We are happy to bring the Great Shape! iCARE project to the people of the Turks and Caicos. We are grateful for the tremendous sponsorship of Sandals Foundation and Beaches Resorts who enable us to perform our much-needed services through our long-time partnership. The joy of receiving a pair of glasses and seeing properly for the first time in your life is powerful and life-changing.”
Over the past nine years, the Sandals Foundation has supported the Great Shape! inc to provide free eye-care, dental, literacy and teacher training programs to residents in several Caribbean islands, providing accommodation, meals, transportation, communications, and logistics support to all volunteers to make these mission possible. To date, the Sandals Foundation has impacted over 209,000 across the Caribbean through health care initiatives, standing firm in its belief that proper healthcare should be accessible to all.