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Previous Missions

El Salvador 2017

VOSH Minnesota and FUDEM February 20‐24, 2017 This VOSH Minnesota trip will be lead by Dr. Julie L Walsh and hosted by FUDEM in El Salvador. We need to bring a supply of reading glasses, FUDEM will supply the prescription glasses. FUDEM charges $600 per participant  which covers all meals, lodging, and transportation during the work week. They usually also include an afternoon at the beach. Dr. Walsh will look into other R&R options. Our total trip fee will include the cost of readers, use of an autorefractor, FUDEM fee, T‐shirts, and miscellaneous expenses.  Each participant must pay … Read More

Marangu, Tanzania

October 2017 was VOSH-Minnesota’s 5th trip to Tanzania, and our 2nd trip to Marangu, on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Our team consisted of 40 people, including 6 optometrists, 2 ophthalmologists, 11 VOSH rookies, and the rest we hard working VOSH veterans. Marangu is at an altitude of 5,000 feet, and the home of the Ngaruma Lutheran Parish, our hosts, and the Marungu Hospital, which is supported by the church. Tanzania requires visas of all travelers from the United States, and we always get tourist visas as they are less expensive … Read More

Panama 2016

  February 13-21, 2016 We worked 2 days in San Felix and one in Boquete, Panama.   The Rotary helped us out in Boquete and some workers from the Jesuit mission where we worked in San Felix assisted us there.  Our resort was a half hour drive from our work site in San Felix. The area was called Las Lajas. R and R was a tour of the canal but on our last day we went up a mountain outside of Boquete and some went on the zip line, while others went bird watching, tree … Read More

Papua New Guinea Sept. 2015

Papua New Guinea, Sept. 7-10, 2015 Participants for this mission were Julie L Walsh, OD, PhD and Dale Simmons in collaboration with PNG Eyecare.  Joycelyn Kali, Refractionist, represented PNG Eyecare. We were joined by local ophthalmologist Waime Wahamu, MD and nurse Judith Dupi. The clinic took place at the Madan Community Center Clinic at the Madan Coffee and Tea Plantation. Clinic Adminstrator, Maureen Yalde assisted with organizing and translating. Eyewear was provided by PNG Eyecare. We saw a total of 80 patients. The most common causes of decreased vision that … Read More

Portoviejo, Ecuador 2015

This mission was led by Bob Boeding and hosted by Club Rotario Portoviejo Reales Tamarindos. Lodging was in private homes of Rotary members. The mission team included 8 students from the University of Waterloo. Five traveled to the Galapagos Islands for three days following the clinic days. Read More

Port Antonio, Jamaica 2015

2014 Busuanga Island, Philippines

My First VOSH Mission I felt both elated and terrified when I first sent the email to Minnesota VOSH to confirm my participation in the 2014 VOSH Mission to the Philippines. I had so many questions! Will I be safe traveling as a solo female? What vaccinations will I need? What do I pack?…and the list goes on. But as the plans for the trip fell into place I soon realized that I would not be left high and dry with my list of unanswered questions. There were 25 people … Read More

2013 Marangu, Tanzania

Mission Report 34 volunteers from 8 different states left Oct. 11 for Marangu, Tanzania. We were hosted by the Ngaruma Lutheran Church of Marangu and we worked at the Marangu Lutheran Hospital. Marangu is on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 5,000 feet, so it was a very comfortable working area and had great views of the mountain. The hospital gave us a wonderful area in which to work and the church provided great interpreters, great food, and great hospitality. We worked for four days and had planned to see … Read More

2013 Port Antonio, Jamaica

Dr. Larry Morrison of Detroit Lakes, MN led a mission in conjunction with both MN and SD VOSH to Port Antonio, Jamaica. A team of twenty which included six optometrists, several opticians, and other volunteers saw 1,100 patients and dispensed over 2,000 pairs of glasses including several hundred plano sunglasses to the needy people of Port Antonio. The mission was a huge success and the weather was perfect! Approximately 60 new glaucoma cases were diagnosed as well as several visually significant cataracts. The mission was assisted by the Port Antonio … Read More

2012 Cusco, Peru

Mission Report The mission began with a flight to Lima, Peru where our group spent the night in order to wait for our next flight the following day to Cusco. We arrived and settled in to either our hotel or hostel. Coca tea was given to us in order to help fight off altitude sickness. It was quite good and is made from cocaine leaves. We spent an entire day setting up our work location in the municipal building as well as sorting and organizing glasses that the students and … Read More

2011 Teacapan, Mexico

First Time VOSH’er When the opportunity arose to join a VOSH trip to Mexico this past January, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t done any optometric volunteer work before and didn’t know many of the other people going on the trip. However, getting out of Minnesota in January was very tempting and I had heard great things about a coworker’s VOSH experience. I decided I was up for a little adventure and signed up. The town we worked in, Teacapan, is located on the … Read More

2011 Busuanga Island, Philippines

Mission Report Our trip this year was VOSH-MN’s third trip to the Philippines, and it was another good one! Fourteen volunteers headed out on a 17+ hour airplane odyssey that ended in Manila, where we all overnighted. Then it was off to the island of Busuanga, in the province of Palawan, another one hour flight. We worked first in the small village of San Jose, a remote farming area with no access to eye care. We had worked there 2 years ago, and saw some of the same people we … Read More

2011 Portoviejo, Ecuador

Mission Report Three optometrists (from NY, KY, and NC) and five optometry students from the University of Waterloo in Canada accompanied VOSH-MN President Bob Boeding to Ecuador in August 10-19th, 2011. They were hosted and stayed in the homes of The Club Rotario Portoviejo Reales Tamarindos. Within four days of clinic, they were able to serve 1,800 people with glasses! Of these people, they estimated that 20% were in great need of cataract removal. This number may seem high, however, they did serve many people from a nursing home. One … Read More

2011 Gris-Gris, Haiti

2011 Shell, Ecuador

My wife and 11 year-old daughter and I traveled to Shell, Ecuador to join an ophthalmologist setting up an eye hospital in an existing mission hospital. We spent 3 days going out to jungle towns setting up screenings seeing 80-250 patients per day. We also spent one day in an orphanage seeing 60 orphans. In addition to screenings, we spent 5 days in the hospital seeing referrals and more complicated patients. Overall, it was a very successful trip with a lot of happy patients. We would return again given the … Read More

2011 Port Antonio, Jamaica

Doctors Larry and Michael Morrison from Morrison Eye Care would like to thank all of the volunteers who participated in, and helped support, the 2011 VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity), mission to Port Antonio, Jamaica. With out the countless hours of service and dedication from American and Jamaican volunteers the mission would not have been impossible. A special thanks needs to be given to Dr. Satya Parvataneni, (Dr.P) and the Jamaican people for their exceptional hospitality. Dr. P is a local physician in Port Antonio and an active member … Read More

2010 Montero, Peru

A Real Eye-opener I soon found myself back to work at a nuclear plant once again occupied with regulatory and compliance issues. Nonetheless, I can still stop, think, close my eyes, and visualize any one of them standing beside me listening to my directions to look across the room and read me the letters or symbols on an eye chart telling me “Casi no puedo ver” indicating that he could barely make out the letters on the chart. I would then find myself looking into his reddened eyes partly covered with a whitish film that … Read More

2010 West Kalimantan, Indonesia

2009 San Jose, Coron City Philippines

PHILIPPINES I always knew that I wanted to be a part of a VOSH mission. Having worked in the optical industry for 19 years I’ve heard all of the amazing stories of faraway places and smiling faces. But when it came down to it, I got a little scared. My only travels outside of the United States had been to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada – not very exotic! I’m pretty sure I had the same hesitation and fears as most first time VOSH Volunteers. I need how many shots?!? Will I fit in with … Read More

2009 Portoviejo, Ecuador

Mission: Portoviejo, Ecuador By Jan Cartwright It has been one month since I have returned from my first VOSH Mission Trip. I have spent part of every day reflecting on my experience and trying to find the words to convey to family, friends and co-workers exactly how much this experience has enriched my life. I have yet to find the appropriate message to express the range of emotions I experienced during my travels and upon my return. I can only say that you have to live it to realize it. … Read More

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