Penticton Rotarian Catherine Goheen is seeing her way to making a difference in people’s lives.
This fall she will deliver reading glasses to Myanmar.
“Many of us forget how lucky we are to be able to afford eye wear. Without glasses many people over 45 years old could not see close to practice their profession; whether it is fixing watches, shoes, reading a recipe or doing surgery,” said Goheen.
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As one of the poorest countries in Asia, Goheen wants to help by gathering reading glasses, that those in the Okanagan may have otherwise thrown away, to give to agricultural workers.
“If, like many of their neighbours, they may not have had the privilege of a formal education and do not read, they still need to see close to fix farm equipment, their homes and maybe a bicycle. People may need to repair harnesses for the oxen or sew clothes for their children,” said Goheen.
Myanmar is a country that is quickly changing. Goheen said democracy in Myanmar is coming along slowly in a safe way. Tourists are now being invited which she believes will help stimulate the average person’s income.
“Our reading glasses will be passed from one person to another as people work to make their lives, their children’s lives and the country’s economy better,” she said.
Goheen is the former owner of Dr. Specs Optical and has taken used eyeglasses from the Okanagan to more than 29 different developing countries.
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She will travel to Myanmar independently, distributing the reading glasses to older, poorer people and farmers and workers. Goheen said there is not a Rotary present in Myanmar she she is in contact with a local NGO.
Goheen is asking the public to donate their old reading glasses to Dr. Specs Optical, located in the Penticton Plaze near Safeway and Shoppers Drug Store before Oct. 31.