11 October The People Eye Care Foundation
Every month, a dedicated group of 5 eye doctors and 25 nurses from various hospitals around Bangkok pack their bags and medical equipment and head off to spend a weekend at a rural government hospital somewhere in Thailand – it may be Maelao Hospital in Chiangmai Province, or Langu Hospital in Satun Province, or one of many others. Their mission – to bring sight back to local people that suffer from cataract conditions and cannot afford to pay for the operation.After screening prospective patients in the hospital, the doctors and nurses perform 120 to 150 cataract operations, extracting the cataract and implanting intraocular lenses. Every month, they bring sight back to 100 to 120 patients. They charge nothing for their services – it is “their pleasure”.
The aegis for this extraordinary gesture of philanthropy is the People Eye Care Foundation, founded in 1987 under the name of the Rajavithi Eye Foundation. The PECF receives donations to cover the costs of the lenses and surgical supplies and monitors the activities of the ‘Eye Missions’.
The PECF has now attracted the attention of the TCCC. The TCCC Executive Board has recently agreed to honor the Chamber’s ongoing commitment to the Thai community by throwing its support behind the PECF. The goal is to raise 600,000 Baht by the end of 2012, equivalent to the costs of lenses and supplies of one monthly mission of 120 operations (5,000 Baht per operation). In a recent meeting with Dr. Somsran Watanachote, founder of PECF, we made the commitment to reach that goal and agreed that the mission scheduled for January, 2013, to Thatum Hospital, Surin Province, would be ‘officially’ designated the ‘TCCC Eye Mission’.
And thus, the “I for an Eye” campaign has been born and with this letter, we are now appealing for your support. But – you are not alone! The Executive Board has approved a plan to match members’ donations on a 2 for 1 basis. As an example, a member’s donation of, say, 10,000 Baht would be matched by 20,000 Baht from the chamber, using funds of the TCCC’s operating budget and other available resources, to aggregate 30,000 Baht. If just 20 of us will donate 10,000 Baht each, when added to the Chamber’s matching monies, we will reach our target, and each of us will the quiet satisfaction of knowing that because of our act of generosity, the sight of 6 brave souls, living somewhere in Surin Province, has been restored (Watch upcoming issue of Voyageur for a feature story on this program).
How to donate:
1) By Bank transfer:
Bank Account Number: 018-1-13396-1
Account Type: Current Account
Beneficiary Name: Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Name of Bank: Kasikorn Bank, Patpong Branch
Bank Address: 42 G Floor, Songsermprakanpai Building, Surawong Road, Kwang Sashay Khet Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
2) By Credit Card : See Fax Credit Card Payment Form
3) By Cheque payable to: “Thai – Canadian Chamber of Commerce”
4) By Cash at TCCC Office
All donations are eligible for tax deduction.