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  • Southside

Stillorgan store mother and daughter on Kolkata mission

Monday, 31st December, 2018 1:00pm
Stillorgan store mother and daughter on Kolkata mission

Krista Brown and her Specsavers colleagues present Maureen Forest of The Hope Foundation with the €75,000 cheque.

Stillorgan store mother and daughter on Kolkata mission

Krista Brown and her Specsavers colleagues present Maureen Forest of The Hope Foundation with the €75,000 cheque.

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SPECSAVERS Stillorgan store director, Krista Brown and her daughter, Aisling Brennan, have returned from a charity mission in the Indian city of Kolkata, where they helped to support 1,300 patients through the Hope Foundation.

Krista, and 14-year-old Aisling visited the destitute city where they volunteered at The Hope Foundation Eye Clinic.

Specsavers has committed to funding the clinic for three years, in a bid to provide basic eye health care to the impoverished community.

As well as attending to 1,300 patients, Krista and Aisling visited local slums and orphanages and toured the city on a mobile health bus, where they treated those living on the poverty-stricken streets who were deemed too poorly to visit the clinic. 

During the week-long volunteering trip, Krista, alongside her Specsavers colleagues and daughter Aisling, gave eye checks to 1,300 patients, dispensed over 1,000 glasses, and in more severe cases, referred patients to the eye hospital for surgery.

Although what was provided can almost be seen as basic treatments, many of those who were treated by Specsavers staff had never had access to eye care. 

Krista said she was grateful to have had the privilege of visiting Kolkata with The Hope Foundation and Specsavers.

“The poverty we witnessed while working in the city was remarkable, it was shocking to witness the destitute living conditions,” she said. “To be able to give those with so little the ability to see is a remarkable task to undertake, and it was so heart-warming to meet the thousands of patients we treated. I wanted my teenage daughter, Aisling, to experience and witness first-hand the poverty that faces the people of Kolkata. We are so lucky in Ireland to have access to great health-care and services and we shouldn’t take this for granted.”

At the end of their week-long volunteering trip, Krista presented a cheque of €75,000 to the founder of The Hope Foundation, Maureen Forrest.

This significant donation will play a vital role in sustaining the eye care clinic in Kolkata.

Speaking of her trip to Kolkata, Aisling added: “The week I spent in Kolkata will stay with me forever. The poverty I witnessed was heart-breaking to see, however, I am so grateful to Specsavers for allowing me on this life changing trip. I was nervous in the beginning but I am so glad I had the opportunity to help those in need.”

The Hope Foundation Ireland is a registered Irish charity working with street and slum children in Kolkata.

The charity works to free children and poor families from lives of pain, abuse, poverty and darkness and seeks to improve their lives by providing access to healthcare and nutrition.

Krista Brown testing a patient at the mobile eye clinic with The Hope Foundation in Kolkata.

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