Ana and Vitor are a pair of optometrists from Vila Nova de Poiares who’ve been touring collectively since 2003. After visiting dozens of nations, they step by step started to determine methods to depart their mark on the world. In 2019, they mixed their ardour for journey with what they do greatest and started delivering prescription glasses to folks with imaginative and prescient issues wherever they went. With the assistance of some folks on the bottom, they determine essentially the most pressing wants and, after session with ophthalmologists, safe donations in hand. They’ve already made 4 solidarity journeys, from Peru to Cape Verde, now within the firm of their two youngsters. We went to fulfill the Carvalho Martins household.
How did you give you the concept to mix your travels with a mission of solidarity?
Victor Martins: Our concept got here after a number of dozen journeys, particularly to South America and Africa. We perceive that by touring otherwise than the typical vacationer, we get to know the true essence of every place. From there we meet folks and it’s by them that we search for actual eyes and monetary wants. We work as a crew, our volunteers assist us discover and seek the advice of, and we handle the remainder and ship to each individual within the discipline. This kind of Mission is a pioneer in Portugal, however it isn’t crucial factor. We’ve already realized that with our disclosure now we have impressed some impartial opticians to hold out comparable missions, and this makes us very pleased, as a result of crucial factor is to have the ability to change the best way we take a look at somebody who is just not ready to do that. so.
They attempt to present very particular and direct help to folks with imaginative and prescient issues. Why did you select this help mannequin?
We’re opticians by occupation, we like to journey, get to know the cultures of the world and we really feel that it could be one thing distinctive if we may mix sight with journey. Imaginative and prescient is among the most essential human senses. We had been disadvantaged of this because of the lack of economic circumstances in a number of international locations, and after we managed to fulfill the required circumstances for a mission of this dimension, we determined to take a position and take an opportunity. At the moment, after 4 missions and delivering ninety glasses, having realized the life story of each individual we ship, we really feel large gratitude for having lived these distinctive and priceless moments.
The place had been you in the course of the solidarity missions?
Our solidarity missions started in Sao Tome and Principe, the place we delivered thirty-two glasses, after which to Peru, extra particularly to town of Cusco. It was at an altitude of 3400 meters that we modified our view of fifteen folks. A 12 months later, we went to the islands of San Vicente and Santo Antao, the place twenty-three glasses had been delivered. We’ve simply returned from Ohrid, a lovely metropolis in North Macedonia, the place twenty glasses have been delivered. This mission was a bit of completely different, about ten glasses got to folks with very uncommon illnesses and excessive mobility difficulties.
How did you’re feeling once you went in your first mission? Any considerations as a result of you’re taking on the accountability of offering medical care to folks you didn’t know, in realities very removed from yours?
The primary Mission went to Sao Tome and Principe, and after we had about sixty international locations in our “baggage”, the journey went effectively. The large distinction was that we had been going to vary the best way we checked out thirty-two folks. It was a really robust feeling, one thing that regardless of how a lot we dwell, we’ll always remember. The feelings of the folks, the best way they thanked us, virtually all stated that that they had nothing to repay us, however their smiles and their happiness had been one thing that made us so pleased and glad that we didn’t want the rest. We had been additionally given life classes after life classes to our eldest son, who was eight years previous, and we determined to take him to know a totally completely different actuality.
Do you keep up a correspondence with individuals who assist you to throughout your missions?
We’ve a number of folks with whom we proceed to keep up a correspondence. We’re on the lookout for sponsors who can proceed our work, particularly serving to youngsters like little Daniel, whose story will eternally stay in our hearts. Nearly 4 years later, little Daniel’s mom contacted us once more, and now we have already discovered a method to assist him once more.
Do you’ve gotten time to benefit from the journeys you make as a part of solidarity missions? That’s, can you’ve gotten time for a visit for you with the entire household?
Touring for us means attending to know the tradition and folks of every nation. So we could not ask for extra. After we go to the Mission, we get to know the essence of every place, how they dwell and, above all, we meet new “households”. That is one thing priceless.
What help do you’ve gotten in your solidarity missions? Would you wish to have extra? Do you’ve gotten a challenge or concept that may make sense to get extra assist?
With every Mission we obtain an increasing number of help from companions who consider in us. We’re patiently placing all of the items collectively to attempt to make one thing even larger. We wish to unfold our work to as many individuals as potential, as a result of we’re positive that we are going to encourage somebody, and if we do, we’ll change the best way we take a look at extra folks, and that is our fundamental objective.
You may observe the journeys and help the solidarity missions of the Carvalho Martins household by their weblog O Nossas View of the World.