Mission Trip to Sint Maarten – 1,200 People Helped

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to support a VOSH Colorado mission trip to Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten. In partnership with Restoring Vision, we funded a glasses pack for this trip and 14 volunteers helped 1,200 people in just five days!

Little girl getting glasses in Sint MaartenMission Trip to Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten

On May 10, 2016, 14 volunteers from a local VOSH chapter in Colorado traveled to Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten.

The Minister of Public Health, Honorable Minister Emil Lee, requested that the group examine all of the school children, and with the help of the St. Maarten Rotary Club, they were able to fulfill his request.  They also saw many adults in need of eye care.

In just five days, the group distributed 300 readers, 1,200 sunglasses, 700 prescription glasses, and brought vision care to 1,200 people in Sint Maarten!

TestimonialMan getting eye exam in Sint Maarten

“There is no eye doctor on the Dutch side of the island where we worked, so many of our patients had never had their eyes examined before. We saw many patients with glaucoma, cataracts, and some diabetic retinopathy.  It was a wonderful experience and we feel good about helping so many people improve their vision!  Thank you so much for your support of our mission!”     

– Dr. Kara Fedders, OD

About Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten map

Image Credit: US Dept of State

Sint Maarten is a constituent island country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located in the Caribbean. It encompasses the southern 40% of the divided island of Saint Martin, while the northern 60% of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. Its capital is Philipsburg.

Sint Maarten’s economy is mostly based on tourism, either from tourists staying on the island or day tourists from the many cruise lines that dock in the Philipsburg Harbour.

For the past 45 years the Sint Maarten Lions Club has been working hard to bring eye care to the island. In 2001, the Lions Club brought Canadian Vision Care to Sint Maarten and a group of Optometrists screened approximately 5000 elementary school children and donated 350 eyeglasses to children needing them.

Many locals have profited from the Lions Club’s eye care program by receiving eyeglasses and free public eye screenings. However, the need for eye care is still great.

More Pictures from Sint Maarten

Jessica Altamirano

Jessica Altamirano

Communications Specialist at National Vision, Inc.
Jessica Altamirano is a proud Veteran spouse who has worked for NVI since 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. Jessica is passionate about corporate-nonprofit partnerships, philanthropic efforts in developing countries, Veteran recruitment, and creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace.
Jessica Altamirano