Good eyesight is an essential component of a child’s success in school. When vision suffers, school performance becomes affected. To help address the vision needs of school children in the Davao region, Latter-day Saints Charities (LDS Charities) and the Department of Education (DepEd) Davao City Division sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Better Vision Project.
The Better Vision Project is an area initiative partnership between DepEd Davao City Division with its stakeholders, which are Prosight Optical, Inc. and RGMA Super Radyo Davao. This joint effort is to provide vision care and assistance to schoolchildren in Davao who have limited to no access to eye check-up due to economic difficulties.
The MOA between partners took place at the Davao Philippines Stake (Diocese) Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at CM Recto, Davao City on Thursday, 17 January 2018.
Jairus Perez, LDS Charities Country Director, and Jonas Piore, DepEd – Davao City Division Senior Education Program Specialist, were present at the signing. Representatives from the different stakeholders who joined in the MOA signing included Dr. Lynnel Caigas, Prosight Optical, Inc.; Rodel Natad, RGMA Super Radyo Davao Special Project Coordinator; Mary Grace Chicote, DepEd Davao City Division Office Nurse II.
Also present in the event were Elder Ferdinand Pangan, an Area Seventy (traveling minister), and Stake (Diocese) President Norman Insong, Davao Philippines Stake, to represent the Church in Davao.
During his remark, Perez emphasized that “behind this partnership lies a collective work and sacrifices made by ordinary people” whose efforts have significantly changed many lives in the country. “We believe this partnership will also empower children in Davao City,” he added.
Moreover, George Kenneth Lee, Welfare Project Manager, and Elder and Sister Browne, Country Coordinators for the Vision Program, witnessed the signing.
DepEd – Davao City Division expressed gratitude to the generosity of the partners. “We, at DepEd, are very pleased to have people like you who have advocacy in helping our children,” said Piore during her remarks.
The MOA covers 1500 pairs of prescription glasses, including the 234 that were distributed to students from Magallanes Elementary School, Doña Pilar Elementary School, and Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School in 2017 and 2018.
The partnership will continue to extend its reach to 10 more elementary schools within the Davao Region within the next two months. The partners are in discussion of future implementation schemes on the project.
LDS Charities is a non-profit organization that sponsors relief and development projects in 189 counties. It is the humanitarian arm of the Church. In the Philippines, Better Vision Project is one of its initiatives to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance, and provide opportunities amongst Filipinos, especially underprivileged children.