Martinique Delegation Donates Eyewear To Saint Lucia – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

A surge of support and collaboration between Martinique and Saint Lucia has taken place, heralding the arrival of a French delegation that has made a significant contribution towards public welfare.

On April 24, 2024, the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment welcomed a sizable French contingent, largely comprised of members of 7 Lions Club chapters, 3 educational institutions and 4 optical companies in Martinique, who collectively procured over 4 thousand two hundred pairs of recycled eyewear, including glasses, sunglasses, and frames as a donation to their fellowmen overseas.

Welcoming the delegation, Permanent Secretary Dr. Charmaine Hippolyte Emmanuel commended the initiative, expressing hope that it would inspire others in neighboring Martinique, Saint Lucia, and the wider Caribbean region to engage in similar acts of kindness. “We want to say thank you for coming to see us this morning. Our hearts are filled with joy and we really appreciate all what you are doing for us. We are truly elated that you are able to join with us and that you were able to change the date to accommodate us. We are indeed happy that you finally made it,” remarked Hippolyte Emmanuel.

For the French-based Lions clubs, this would signal the third year such a show of generosity would be undertaken, increasing significantly the number of pieces of eyewear donated, with each passing year.

The impact of this contribution on visually impaired individuals in Saint Lucia cannot be overstated, providing them with improved vision and a better quality of life.

“We have seen there is a need and so in Martinique we asked all of our friends and this year we have a partnership with the 7 lions clubs I told you about. So this year we are pleased to be able to hand over the Blind Welfare Association 4,248 glasses and eyewear. You also have to know that 2 more Lions clubs collected glasses that went to Dominica, 1500 glasses went to Dominica,” noted Jean-Marie Jeunehomme, President of Lions Club – Martinique.

The handover ceremony not only celebrated cooperation but also strengthened the enduring friendship between Saint Lucia and Martinique.

Anthony Avril, Executive Director of the Blind Welfare Association, emphasized the importance of providing the enabling environment for visually impaired members of society, regardless of age, sex, status or physical ability.

“For us at the Blind Welfare Association, blindness is our enemy. We are not promoting blindness. What we are promoting is people who are living with the condition. So it’s a war, exclaimed Avril.

 He continued, “Our Biggest Challenge is to ensure that the people who are living with blindness and vision impairment in our society have opportunities to be gainfully employed. For that to happen they have to be prepared and need skills and also society needs to create an environment that is conducive to ensure that we can attain this goal.”

Lions Club International was created more than 100 years ago in the United States and today boasts a membership of over one million, four hundred thousand worldwide.

The Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association continues its efforts to enhance the lives of visually impaired individuals on the island and the Ministry of Equity remains dedicated to fostering collaborative opportunities for positive change.

SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment