Hundreds Receive Free Glasses After EyeXam Mission Trip

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SAN JOSE, Calif.—EyeXam—a smartphone and tablet eyecare app—chronicled the success of a mission trip by Valley Christian High School (VCHS) students to Freedom Park, a squatter camp in South Africa with an estimated population of 50,000 people. The visiting students conducted hundreds of vision screenings and eye tests on their way to distributing 1,000 pairs of glasses. The mission trip was set up with the help of Engage Africa, a non-profit organization.

Students from VCHS who used the EyeXam app on iPads for initial vision screenings, did so with the help of Smart Vision Labs’ SVOne smartphone refractors, which the company donated; new glasses were ordered from VisionSpring, a group that has donated over 2.5 million eyeglasses.

“It was especially satisfying to have the EyeXam app used for vision screening in a developing area and to be able to help give the gift of sight to so many people,” stated EyeXam founder and CEO Nikki Iravani, OD. “While our core aim as a company is to make it easy for consumers to screen their vision and to visit eyecare providers to get eye exams routinely so they maintain optimal eye health, seeing the EyeXam app used in ways like it was in South Africa is rewarding on so many levels.”

Hundreds of Freedom Park residents walked two or three hours—even late at night—to have their eyes tested. The trip was so successful, students from VCHS have initiated a fundraising campaign to continue vision screenings and glasses distribution efforts for future mission trips.

“I have been involved with many, many trips around the world in the last 30 years,” said Myron Falkowski, a Walk Program teacher at VCHS. “I have seen countless people receive help to face the difficulties of life. I have rarely seen anything that had the impact—on individuals or a community—I saw when people received new glasses as the result of the EyeXam app and SVOne.”