Malawi eye care mission

An optometry graduate is embarking on a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to provide eye care in Malawi

Emily Hancock

Optometry student Emily Hancock is travelling to Malawi to provide free eye care this summer.

The Cardiff University undergraduate will travel to the south east African country in July and will spend one month providing free eye tests and dispensing glasses to local people, along with 11 other optometry students and three qualified supervisors.

Ms Hancock is in the second year of her optometry degree and works as an optical assistant at Valli Opticians in Huddersfield during her university breaks. 

Ms Hancock described the upcoming trip as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to use new skills and “help others who are in desperate need of eye care and spectacles.”  

The trip will involve the team working in different conditions to what they are used to, with the aim of examining 2000–3000 patients between the 12 of them. 

Optometry students providing eye care in Malawi

Speaking about the importance of providing eye care in Malawi, Ms Hancock said: “I believe it will be incredibly rewarding as we will be improving the vision of so many people including children, allowing them to learn, and parents, enabling them to work to provide for their families. We will also be teaching necessary optometry skills to students in the only optometry school in Malawi. This will ensure our hard work can continue after we have left.”

The group of volunteers are raising money to cover the cost of accommodation and transport for when they arrive in Malawi, as well as for essential items such as spectacles and equipment that is needed to treat the patients.  

Ms Hancock added: “Any donation, no matter how small, will help us to dramatically improve people’s lives by allowing them to become independent. We will also donate hats, clothes, sunglasses and any leftover spectacles to the local communities and hospitals at the end of our trip.”

For further information about the trip or how you could help visit the website.