Youth and seniors in the BVI community will have access to free eye screening and eyeglasses compliments of the Lions Club of Tortola as it launches Phase Two of its Vision Screening Project: “Vision 24”, aimed at promoting eye health through the detection and correction of vision impairment of young people and the elderly in the community.

“Statistics have shown poor vision to be one of the top five reasons for underachievement in young children and the results of our Phase One screenings have highlighted the challenges faced by children in our Territory” said Project co-chairperson Lion Linda Cills, MJF.

During the second phase of the project, a team of 16 Optometrists and assistants from Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, (VOSH) International, will provide free eye screenings and eyeglasses to students and elderly persons within the Territory. All persons requiring prescription glasses will receive one, along with a free pair of sunglasses for eye protection and courtesy of VOSH International.

Those requiring further medical intervention or surgery will be referred to an Ophthalmologist for the care needed.

The project is scheduled to take place from Monday April 22nd through to Friday April 26th, 8am – 4pm daily at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Station Avenue in Road Town.

Although the services will be completely free to participants, a signed Consent Form from the parent or guardian of the students is required for testing to take place. Completed consent forms should be submitted to the respective schools by April 3, or to the Lions Club of Tortola using the QR Code below or the link provided by the schools.

The Club takes this opportunity to encourage parents of students who have been recommended for this phase of screening, or who are not yet pre-screened, to complete the required consent form.

Lion Daphodil Sampson MJF, President of Lions Club of Tortola said: “In keeping with our 2024 Lionistic theme, “Serving our Legacy, Shaping our Future”, and recognizing the importance of early detection in maintaining good eye health, we have partnered with VOSH International, the Ministry of Education, UniteBVI, BVI Recreational Trust and other stakeholders to assist in alleviating this problem, ensuring that no child is denied a full and fruitful education because of undetected visual impairment.”

President Sampson explained that Vision 24 will involve a team of dedicated volunteers trained in vision screening techniques, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment to assess visual acuity, screen for common eye conditions, and provide referrals for further evaluation and treatment, if necessary.

VOSH International is a non-profit organization headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska with a mission to bring “Vision to Every Person on the Planet” since 1971. The organization has close ties with Lions International and has performed similar projects in neighboring countries and worldwide.

All visiting Optometrists have received the necessary clearance and certification from the BVI Allied Health Professional Council in compliance with Ministry of Health requirements to practice in the BVI. The Club’s goal is to identify people with vision difficulties and immediately provide them with the necessary glasses. The team has the capacity to screen approximately 2,500 people over the course of the week. All the necessary glasses and sunshades are in stock.

President Sampson stated, “Vision 24 aligns with Lions International mission to serve our community and make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality eye care, and by offering free vision screenings, we hope to contribute to the overall well-being of our community.”

In Phase One of Vision 24, members of the Lions Club of Tortola, under the leadership of project co-chairperson Lion Linda Cills MJF pre-screened over 2,000 students in public and private primary and secondary schools on Tortola, Jost van Dyke and Anegada. Of those screened, approximately 1,000 children (49%), have been referred to Phase 2 of the project for further screening by the VOSH Team, for vision impairment.

Vision impairment is a very significant public health concern that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 2.2 billion people globally have vision impairment or blindness, and yet, many of these cases are preventable or treatable with early detection and intervention. Lions Club of Tortola has been serving the BVI community for the past fifty-two years. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at the BVI Finance Conference Room, Cutlass Tower in Road Town. To learn more about the upcoming screening event or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, please contact us by phone or WhatsApp at (284) 343-6950 or (284) 541-0395, by email at, via Facebook or any member of the club.