July 30, 2013
Share Your Talents
I am only one, but still I am one._____________________________________________________________________
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do. - Helen Keller
Opportunity Education Foundation is always asking - what can we do?
With access to almost 1,400 schools which benefit from our programs and thousands of administrators and teachers in 11 countries - we have the infrastructure and ability to empower other non-profit and service organizations which want to reach hundreds of thousands of students and their communities.
OEF welcomes the opportunity to share our resources to help better the lives of the diverse communities we serve in Africa and Asia.
We were fortunate to share our recent Ghana Education Experience trip with Dr. Steve Maurstad, a dentist who educates on oral health, and the First Sight Foundation that provides vision screens and free eyeglasses.
This was Dr. Maurstad's second trip with OEF, having instructed over 5,000 students during our Uganda trip in 2012. That trip inspired him to volunteer again this year.
OEF further supports the mission by providing a toothbrush to each student after Dr. Maurstad's presentation and reinforcing his instructions in later DVD lessons. To date, OEF has given over 77,000 toothbrushes to kids who treasure their gift.
Dr. Maurstad's dental health presentation not only informs students but also introduces them to a profession from which most will never benefit.
Dentists are very hard to find in rural areas of developing nations. Ghana, with over 25 million people, graduates just 20 dentists per year.
The World Health Organization estimated that, as of 2008, there were only 148 dentists in Ghana, with 70% located in urban areas. That is .06 dentists per 10,000 Ghanaians versus 6 dentists per 10,000 Americans.
Dental health is more than just having a beautiful smile, which is common to all Ghanaians.
Studies in the USA indicate that poor dental health can increase the risk of other health conditions including heart disease.
Dr. Maurstad may be the only dentist these students meet, so the pressure is on to give them a lot of information and inspiration to continue their studies and consider entering health professions.
If you have a problem seeing this picture, you are in the company of more than 153,000,000 people throughout the world who suffer from easily corrected vision problems.
OEF was excited when Nizar Mamdani, the CEO of First Sight, approached us to offer free vision screening for thousands of OEF students and their extended school communities.
First Sight implements a low - tech but highly cost-effective process for an eye exam and immediately provides eyeglasses that correct the largest percentage of vision problems - near and far sightedness.
In less than 15 minutes and for less than $5 a pair, this simple process dramatically improves lives. Better vision means better health, education (for the first time children can see the blackboard clearly!) and job options to support families and build stronger communities.
Nizar and Tom Windle (Development Director of First Sight) quickly trained several OEF staff to assist in screening nearly 3,000 students plus hundreds of teachers and villagers who sought their help.
It was a whirlwind week, moving long lines of people through the screening process and keeping Dr. Steve on schedule visiting classrooms but the reward was having the chance to see - all the amazing smiles.
On behalf of all the students, schools and communities served by Opportunity Education Foundation, we offer our deepest gratitude to Dr. Steve Maurstad and the First Sight Foundation.
Opportunity Education Outreach continues to seek potential fundraising and collaboration efforts with other foundations; to bring tangible improvement to the lives of our students, their families, and communities. Please contact email@example.com for more information on how you can get involved.