Earlier this year I had an incredible experience travelling with TOMS on one of their Giving trips to Peru and Guatemala visiting schools, clinics and orphanages. There is more info at the TOMS site on their One For One movement and here are some videos from the trip.
I spent a couple of days with Visualiza in Guatemala, their aim is to provide "quality eye service to everyone", their private practice helps to fund their outreach clinics and the treatments they provide to patients who are less able to afford quality ophthalmological care. I had the opportunity to see the great work they do in providing access to eye care to remote parts of the community and also to sight saving surgery. With the the support TOMS provides with its One For One movement they were able to pay for more surgeries and operate more out reach clinics.
The rest of the trip was spent in Peru helping to distribute shoes with Buckner International. We met a lot of incredible people who are there helping the community day to day. Seeing first hand the difference they make was a humbling experience. I also had the opportunity to design a mural which we painted with the help of the children in the community. The text translates to Hope Shines Here which we painted on one of the community halls Buckner has helped to establish in Lima. It was nice to be able to do something fun with the children, we all enjoyed ourselves and while we all got pretty messy and dived into the paint the mural turned out beautiful.
Photos courtesy of TOMS Shoes