28.11.04

Belfast Telegraph

Optician's mercy dash to Ethiopia

By Gary Grattan
ggrattan@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
27 November 2004

A retired Ulster optician left for Ethiopia today on a mercy mission to help save the sight of some of the world's poorest people.

Brian Mooney (65), from Strabane, will be working with the charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO).

He will spend two weeks setting up clinics for local people, giving eye tests and issuing spectacles.

"Vision Aid Overseas offers a much needed service for people who simply do not have access to facilities we take for granted in the UK. Helping people like this is hugely satisfying, but it's tragic that they cannot get their sight back without our help.

"For people in Ethiopia a pair of spectacles can make the difference between going to school or being uneducated, between keeping or losing a job and between the ability to support their families and the desperation of real poverty," said Brian.

Vision Aid Overseas is a registered UK charity dedicated to bringing help to needy people in the developing world whose lives are blighted by poor eyesight.

It sends abroad teams of professionally qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians who establish clinics.

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