August 24, 2004

Mercys Participate in Eye Care Campaign, Peru

In June the Sisters of Mercy, Newfoundland and Labrador, working in Ichocan, Cajamarca, organized an ophthalmological campaign, in collaboration with a group of specialists and volunteers from British Columbia, Canada (TWECS, Third World Eye Care Society).

In a period of two weeks, the team of sixteen attended 4,000 people from the Ichocan Parish and surrounding areas, providing glasses for approximately 2, 500 individuals. Three surgeons performed cataract operations and minor surgeries for others in the hospital in Cajamarca.

One of the biggest challenges was working with the Ministry of Health and Customs in Lima to make the necessary arrangements for the team's entry into Peru, especially in light of the fact that they carried with them their own equipment and medicine. The bureaucracy was incredible but the Sisters' work was invaluable in getting everything in place for the team's arrival.

Our sisters were responsible for setting up the eye clinic in the parish center, providing accommodations to those travelling from afar, as well as preparing meals and providing translation. Local town councils and health clinics were involved in arranging registration and transportation for peole travelling from the distant villages.

The people of Ichocan are extremely grateful for the service provided by the Canadian team who so freely and generously shared their resources and skill. As a Congregation we are pleased to have been part of this venture, collaborating closely with others in the region and above all providing a Mercy presence to people who came seeking help in their time of need.

Our thanks to Marion Collins, Lily Ferrero, Verna AuCoin, Rosa Silva Cumpa, Moira Flynn as well as Alice Mackey and coworkers from our mission on the coast.

Messages to Madonna Gatherall rsm

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