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Community Impact

Opening Eyes in Kenya

Special Olympics Kenya and Lions Sight First Eye Hospital Honored with Golisano Award
A small group of 6 Special Olympics representatives including two Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers standing together.

Lions Sight First Eye Hospital from Special Olympics Kenya was selected as one of seven honorees for the Golisano Global Health Leadership Award at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

The Lions Sight First Eye Hospital has made an immense impact in improving the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities in Kenya. The Hospital has been partnering with Special Olympics Kenya for the past five years, donating more than 1,000 glasses and conducting more than 15 medical surgeries free of charge to Special Olympics Kenya athletes. The hospital contributes a minimum of five Opening Eyes specialists to support Healthy Athletes screening events throughout the year.

In addition, the hospital dispenses medications and conducts regular reviews of athlete referrals. This service has helped to bridge the gap in follow up care; all follow up cases for Special Olympics athletes screened in Opening Eyes are taken care of by the hospital. Close to 4,000 Special Olympics Kenya athletes have directly benefited from the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital.

Group of athletes from Kenya sitting in theater seating.

In 2018, the partnership expanded to include collaborating to do Special Olympics Healthy Hearing and Special Olympics Special Smiles screenings for children and adults with intellectual disabilities as well.

Expanding Horizons for Rayan

Rayan was identified through the UNICEF school placement project by Special Olympics Kenya. At school, Rayan could not look at the books, and he cried a lot. His mother thought this was normal for a child with autism and did not have his eyes tested.

Special Olympics Kenya brought Rayan to the Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital where he was diagnosed with an eye cataract. Surgery was provided free of charge, and now his mother says that Rayan enjoys browsing through books and particularly points at an insect with a lot of excitement. This is a great testimony that thanks to Opening Eyes and Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, Rayan can now clearly see and interact with the world around him.

Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards

The Golisano Foundation is making Special Olympics Health work possible globally and has invested $37 million to create and expand Special Olympics Healthy Communities throughout the world. Golisano’s gift is the largest received by Special Olympics and is also the largest single gift ever given by Tom Golisano and his Foundation.

LESH and Special Olympics Kenya's Partnership

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