Eighth grade can be a major turning point that marks the end of middle school and new beginnings in high school. Children who don’t see well can have an especially difficult time making the transition.
For years, 13-year-old Reitumetse would sit so close to the television her face would almost touch the screen. When reading, her head would ache, making it difficult to concentrate on school work. She needed an eye exam, but her large family of twelve did not have the financial means or awareness to help her obtain eye care.
“I realized that I had eye problems when I couldn’t read my books for long periods. My eyes would start itching and tearing and I would have to stop reading,” said Reitumetse.
Reitumetse would have continued into high school without intervention if it had not been for We See, A Child Eye Health Project. The principal of Reitumetse’s school organized for all the children to have their vision screened. Her vision issues were spotted in the screening, and she was finally able to get a no-cost eye exam and the Nike Vision glasses she needed to see the world more clearly.
With the aim of reducing uncorrected visual impairment among students by 90%, We See, A Child Eye Health Project, is helping students like Reitumetse succeed in school and, ultimately, reach their full potential. More than 46,000 children have been screened for vision issues through We See.
“I am very happy that this program came about to help me and other children from my school. I love my new glasses and I will take good care of them. My family is happy for me, and my younger sister also wants her own spectacles—but she has no vision problems,” she added with a laugh.