Ster-Kinekor's Vision Mission celebrated Mandela Day with the kids so dear to Madiba’s heart by bringing critical health screening to more than 400 underprivileged youths, part of its ongoing bid to address preventable blindness and hearing loss.
In a partnership with Carel Du Toit Audiology and special contributions by BIC and Slush, Vision Mission hosted a special event where learners received spectacles and had hearing tests, and then armed with popcorn and slushes they settled in to watch Toy Story 4.
Experiencing a movie is a sensory experience that many of us take for granted. But many people struggle to see the on-screen action or to hear the witty dialogue. Often this is because they were unable to access certain health services when they were young.
It’s estimated that around 10% of the 3 million learners in Grade 1, 2 and 3 have eye problems which, if left uncorrected, could lead to severe vision impairment. Each year, just under 7 million children globally will develop hearing loss due to untreated ear infections.
Ster-Kinekor, therefore, established Vision Mission in 2005, an initiative focused on eliminating preventable blindness in South Africa. Since then, it has screened more than 336 547 disadvantaged learners and provided spectacles to 15 549. The company has also restored vision to 18 young people by arranging for cornea transplants.
Vision Mission has now expanded into assisting learners with hearing impairments, commonly caused by ear infections. “Just as impaired vision can compromise a child's progress, so too can poor hearing, potentially affecting everything from their speech and language development to their cognitive, intellectual, emotional and social development," noted Tara Fahrenfort, (BSC in Audiology, UCT) Audiologist & Project Manager Of 3E: Ears And Eyes For Education
Vision Mission celebrated the 10th annual Mandela Day at Ster-Kinekor in Promenade Mall, Mitchell’s Plain, treating children to music, a puppet show, face painting and the Toy Story 4 movie.
However, this wasn't simply a fun day out; during the event, learners had their hearing screened, while spectacles were provided for more than 400 children after extensive screenings held across the Western Cape.
"The theme for Mandela Day is #TAKE ACTION. INSPIRE CHANGE. MAKE EVERY DAY A MANDELA DAY, which fits our national CSI flagship programme of providing eye care to learners," said Geraldine Engelman, spokesperson for Ster-Kinekor Vision Mission. "We are committed to finding more innovative ways to contribute to eye and ear care."
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