Darni Without Glasses!
The vision problems started with Darni. It was really no surprise since living at the garbage dump and being subjected to the poor air quality and living in a dark house with only one light can put a lot of stress on your eyes. As Darni began to learn more intricate details in her advanced sewing classes she increasingly had more difficulty.
I told her to get her eyes checked. Even new frames are very expensive. But it just so happened that Noto, Darni’s husband, had found a pair of glasses when he was out picking trash. So Darni’s prescription lenses were popped into her “new” frames. Then she was very happy because she could see so much better.
Soon after Darni got her eyeglasses, XSProject partnered with RSIA Lestari Women and Children’s Hospital to offer the very first eye exams to every adult at the Cirendeu trash picker community. Any adults who could not see clearly could receive a free pair of eye glasses compliments of RSIA Lestari. Mostly just the young women and mothers got their eyes examined
Not long after they received their eyeglasses, many of the women stopped wearing them and began complaining of headaches. But Darni was still very happy with her prescription glasses. It was then that I understood the problem!
When Darni first got her prescription glasses, she told me that she had to take them off when she was not in sewing class because she was embarrassed about being teased. Other moms would say things like: “Oh, you look like a successful women.” (translation: you don’t deserve to be a successful women because of who you are).
I told her, “Forget about what other people say and just say it’s OK”. I also told her that she was the first person to understand and appreciate the benefits of wearing glasses and to tell the other moms how her life is much easier now. Then everyone will want to wear their eye glasses.
When XSProject began offering vocational training in making jewelry, it was “clearly an eye opener” for the six members of the new class, when they realized they were not able to see the small details needed to make the jewelry.
Darni took three of the moms to the same eye doctor she went to. One mom, Sutiah, had the worst eyes and the most difficulty working with small jewelry parts.
Frames, donated by our supporters and donors in the US helped save XSProject money. It cost just $60.00 for the 3 pairs of prescription lenses. The moms got to choose their own frames. You can see how lovely Supena, Rokhanah and Sutiah look now.
Supena returned to the making jewelry class wearing her new glasses, and told her friends and neighbors how much better she could see. Now other moms are thinking they probably need glasses too!
There are still many adults in the community who are afraid to have their vision checked. The mothers in this story have school aged children who have benefitted from receiving regular exams and eyeglasses. XSProject now regularly offers eye exams and eye glasses in the community. For a donation of $30.00 the gift of better vision can change a trash picker's life.
Supena and Sutiah