After more than two years during which IRIS Mundial had to stop its international travels, the organization is delighted to be able to finally resume the travels and missions with its volunteers.
During these last exceptional years, IRIS Mundial has not stopped supporting its partners around the world. Whether in Haiti or in Senegal, the Programs for the Prevention and Fight against Blindness (PPFB) have been able to continuously help thousands of men, women, boys and girls in need of visual care. IRIS Mundial's support was provided at a distance, through the sending of funds and materials, follow-up meetings, as well as training and mentoring sessions online.
During the month of January, two optometrist volunteers and residents in community optometry from the Université de Montréal did a 3-week internship with IRIS Mundial's Senegalese partner, the Association Saint-Louisienne pour la Vue (ASV). The objective of their internship is to support the team’s technical implementation of the IRIS Mundial project by providing coaching and training for the nurses, advising on visual hygiene and eye health awareness practises, as well as conducting an evaluation and technical follow-up of the program. The two residents recently returned home, delighted with their visit in Senegal and the rich and beneficial exchanges they had with the ASV team.
In addition, IRIS Mundial plans to organize a one-time project in an African country during the fall of 2023. A Canadian multidisciplinary team (ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and other professionals) will go to offer eye exams as well as glasses, eye medication and eye surgery to approximately 2000 underprivileged people who do not have access to eye care. This project will be implemented with a local partner and with the support of the country's Ministry of Health, depending on the needs identified. The area of intervention and the partners involved will be revealed in a few weeks, stay tuned!
While IRIS Mundial wishes to maintain a part of its interventions at a distance for reasons of efficiency (financial, but also environmental), it is nevertheless happy to be able to finally resume international travel and to have human contact with its distant colleagues again. There is nothing like this to cheer up all parties.