EnvisionFulbright is an opportunity for Fulbright alumni to get involved in a project making a huge impact in the world.
The Northern California chapter of the Fulbright Association collaborated with RestoringVision to create a pilot program: EnvisionFulbright with the goal of distributing new reading glasses to people who greatly need them in developing countries around the world. This program kicked off during the inaugural Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge, where it won the Fulbright Association Innovative Spirit Award and led to $8,000 raised during a crowdfunding campaign. The partnership aims to help provide reading glasses to some of the almost 1 billion people around the world who cannot afford them or have no access to healthcare.
Timmy Global Health (Timmy) is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that expands access to healthcare by empowering students and volunteers to help tackle today’s most pressing global health challenges. Timmy provides short-term medical service trips as a part of their larger continuity of care where they visit partner communities every 3 months. They are committed to supporting patients and communities 52 weeks a year by collaborating with international partners, maintaining on-the-ground staff, funding critical procedures and surgeries and implementing public health interventions. Volunteering on one of their trips contributes greatly to the quality healthcare they strive to provide to patients in Guatemala, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Most of their medical trips focus on providing mobile primary care service for one to two weeks at a time.
There is no medical experience required to participate! You must have at least an intermediate level of Spanish and be a current member of the Fulbright Association. Not a member? No problem, join today!
Please note that neither Timmy Global Health nor EnvisionFulbright are able to secure visas for travel; while US Citizens may travel to each country without a visa, regulations vary if you hold citizenship from another country. Please review these regulations and select countries to which you are able to travel, according to your citizenship.
This medical service trip is in conjunction with a university chapter; you will thus be joining a group of enthusiastic undergraduates, as well as a group of seasoned US and local medical professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists).
For 5 days of the trip, volunteers set up a mobile clinic in a Timmy community and attend to between 60-130 patients/day. Patients enter the clinic, are screened by Nurses (RNs) and seen by a provider (MD, DO, NP, PA) who conducts an assessment and provides a diagnosis and prescription if necessary. A pharmacist (PharmDs and/or RNs) will monitor, fill and distribute medicine orders.
A Fulbright alumnus/alumna will serve a pivotal role on the medical service team: purchasing, packing, bringing down and providing reading and sun glasses to the communities that Timmy serves in Latin America. Eye care is critical to the well-being of a community, and yet, is something that is often a lower priority after medications or surgical procedures. Reading glasses, in particular, offer relief to the older members of the communities, assisting them to get back to their chores, taking care of their families, and sometimes, their livelihood.
Timmy Global Health returns to the same communities to offer primary care every 3 months and is pushing to provide more optical care for these patients in order to meet the large demand. This Fulbright alumna/us will be coming in at a perfect time to assist Timmy in this goal, and they will serve as the lead on the reading glasses station for each clinic day, fitting patients for the correct glasses, explaining proper use and care, and documenting their strength in TimmyCare, an Electronic Medical Record system.
The Fulbright alumnus/alumna is expected to take photos during each of the clinics and provide a brief report at the end of the trip including number of reading glasses provided at each community, stories of the impact the reading glasses made and lessons learned from the trip.
Corrected vision can improve productivity by 20%. For someone making $2/day, that’s $100/year. 100,000 reading glasses distributed represent $10M in economic impact and improved quality of life.
Cost of the Trip: $1,000 + roundtrip airfare to the trip location
This cost includes all housing, meals, in-country transportation, cultural activities, short-term medical insurance as well as 300 pairs of reading glasses and 200 pairs of sunglasses from RestoringVision. This cost does not include a roundtrip flight to the location of the trip, which the participant will be responsible for. Here is a breakdown costs:
$800: Housing, Food, Activities and Insurance
$200: Covers 300 pairs of reading glasses and 200 pairs of sunglasses from RestoringVision
Complete your online application and email your resume/CV to Alyssa by the deadline. Our selection committee will carefully review all applications and select one Fulbrighter to attend each trip. Applications are now closed for our 2016 Trips. Check back in January when we announce our 2017 trips.
LEARN MORE: Read Emily Brown’s experience, our first EnvisionFulbright participant, about her trip distributing glasses in Chontapunta, Ecuador.
EnvisionFulbright will be offering one $1,000 scholarship for young alumni interested in participating in one of these trips. The scholarship will be awarded based on the strength of the application essay. Special consideration will be given to applicants with creative ideas to promote the EnvisionFulbright program through the Fulbright Association website and social media during or after the trip.
Timmy is able to provide a tax deduction receipt for the $200, which is a donation towards the cost of the reading glasses. Please consult your tax advisor for specific tax questions and to determine any additional tax deductions.