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NGO treats 220 pupils with eye challenges at Ikota School

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Ibrahim Quadri

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Bright Sight Foundation has provided free eye screening and treatments to 220 pupils of Bethesda Primary School, Ikota, Ajah area of Lagos State.

The purpose of the screening is to assist in detecting vision problems that may affect the students’ ability to perform adequately in classes.

Bethesda School is one of the tuition free schools located in a rural community of Ikota where parents are finding it difficult to fend for their children.

Founder of the NGO, Muna Ubosi who is based in United Kingdom said her passion has also been to assist underprivileged.

Ubosi disclosed, “A vast majority of 80% of classroom learning is processed visually, so any vision problems can have a significant impact on your child’s education. 1 in 4 children have uncorrected refractive error which can impact learning. Some children are mislabeled as slow learners due to the fact that they have uncorrected refractive error.”

In a proposal made to carry out the exercise which was made available to newsmen, she noted more sponsors are required to continue with the initiative.

Ubosi said, “I have always been passionate about helping people who are less privileged in any way I can right from a young age. I have been actively sponsoring and volunteering at Bethesda Child Support foundation for many years and this birthed my current project – BRIGHT SIGHTS.

“Bethesda Child Support Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria, focused on helping the less privileged by providing scholarship to disadvantaged children and building tuition free schools in poor communities. Bethesda Child support foundation aims to create for disadvantaged children, an enabling environment that empowers them to thrive, grow, and develop to their full potential.

“We intend to mobilize community resources with the assistance of partners like you to help children from impoverished backgrounds secure a better future through education and in that way break the generational cycle of poverty existing in their families.

“While volunteering at the Bethesda child support foundation, I encountered several children who were experiencing poor eye sight and this greatly affected their performance in school and also their social interaction with their peers and the world.”

The Head Teacher of the School, Mrs Onyeabor Ngozi Anthonia expressed joy over the initiative, saying the parents of the pupils had difficulty in taking care of them.

Anthonia said, “Most of our children have eye challenges. We have called their parents one-on-one but unfortunately many of them don’t have the resources to take care of them.

“So this morning most of the parents trooped in because they heard of what we are doing. We are very happy with the initiator of the programme.”

She appealed to other private individuals to assist underprivileged, saying “We want to encourage other NGOs to do more because we are trying to break the generational poverty. It is going to help the community and the country at large.”

The mother of the Founder, Mrs Ijeoma Ubosi explained that her daughter got interest in taking care of those with vision challenges because she had similar challenges when she was growing up.

“I would say because she also passed through that problem. I also had issue when I was in school so Muna had the same issue when she was in school.

“She found out that she could not see perfectly and when she strained her eyes, she was getting headache.”

She added that, “The objective is to assist those people who otherwise could not even know that they had issue.

“If you have vision issue, it is not obvious, you can go through life and not even realizing it and you found out you are not living up to your best potentials.”

While commenting on the interconnectivity of human organs, she noted, “Like me, if I’m not wearing glasses, I find it difficult to process what you are saying because I’m wearing my glasses. So people don’t realize that they are connected. So wearing them completes my functionality.”

She further disclosed that some of the parents did not consent to the screening initially. “Yesterday, students we got are about 70 percent whose parents consented but today a lot more have shown interest to fill the forms because their children have given them positive feedbacks.”

She explained those whose cases were complicated would have to be given additional treatments, adding “We have to do follow up.”

One of the beneficiaries, Blossom Reagan who had glaucoma thanked the initiator for the gesture.

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