Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellows are 18 years and older, and there is no upper age limit. Individuals between the ages of 14 and 17 may volunteer if they participate with a parent who is also a Unite For Sight volunteer.
Previous Global Impact Fellows range from undergraduate students, medical students, public health students, and professionals, to nurses, educators, opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. Non-eye care professionals serve as community-based assistants for local eye doctors. Optometrists and ophthalmologists provide optometric and ophthalmic care for patients while sharing their skills with and learning from the local eye care professionals.
Unite For Sight's Global Impact Fellows come from countries throughout the world, including the United States, Canada, Denmark, England, Greece, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Israel, Singapore, Japan, India, United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand. We welcome people from any country to participate.
Unite For Sight welcomes participants who may have little or no previous health experience. Volunteers receive all necessary training from Unite For Sight so that they are able to assist the local doctors with global health delivery. All volunteers, regardless of their previous level of health experience, are engaged in hands-on community based healthcare programs, and all volunteers help at their individual level of training and comfort.
Our priority is to ensure that Unite For Sight volunteers make a high-impact difference while participating abroad. Our research, experience, and evaluation has enabled us to develop a highly successful pre-service training and orientation process that ensures that volunteers are fully prepared to contribute to the success of the Unite For Sight programs.
Unite For Sight's Global Impact Corps program is an immersive global health experience for students and professionals. For students, Unite For Sight programs are a unique opportunity to connect their academic studies with an intellectually stimulating and high-impact volunteer experience abroad. Participating as a Global Impact Fellow provides a service-learning opportunity about global health and international development through hands-on service and cultural exchange. We encourage students to arrange with their university to receive academic credit for their participation in the Unite For Sight program.
Examples of universities that offer credit for the Unite For Sight Global Impact Corps program can be seen at http://www.uniteforsight.org/volunteer-abroad/academic-credit Students also oftentimes receive funding from their university, and universities that recently funded their students to participate can be seen at http://www.uniteforsight.org/volunteer-abroad/funding
Volunteer optometrists and ophthalmologists apply their skills and training to provide eye care to patients alongside the local eye doctors. Optometrists share knowledge and skills with local optometrists and ophthalmic nurses, while ophthalmologists provide surgical training and skills transfer to local ophthalmologists.
Qualifying as an optometrist or ophthalmologist volunteer requires that the participant be a fully licensed, fully trained and practicing optometrist or ophthalmologist. Ophthalmology residents, for example, are not fully trained nor fully licensed and therefore qualify as a standard volunteer.
Dates are flexible for volunteer optometrists and ophthalmologists; please indicate your availability in your application.
Ophthalmology residents do not qualify as Unite For Sight volunteer ophthalmologists since they are not fully trained or Board certified. However, we have many ophthalmology residents who participate as standard Global Impact Fellows and pursue the Unite For Sight programs in order to learn about community eye health and gain exposure to providing eye care to patients living in extreme poverty.
In addition to learning about providing eye care in resource-poor settings, ophthalmology residents also have an opportunity in Bihar, India, to receive surgical training in SICS and Phaco by the local eye clinic's ophthalmologists. Residents additionally work with the local doctors to provide on-site exams, diagnosis, medication, and eyeglasses for the clinic's patients.
Ophthalmology residents may also participate in the Ghana programs, where they work in the rural villages with local eye doctors to provide diagnosis and treatment. Surgical training programs are not provided by Unite For Sight's Ghana eye clinic partners, and ophthalmology residents are therefore only able to perform surgery on patients through the established surgical training program in Bihar, India.
Unite For Sight's film/documentary and photographer volunteers produce films and photos about global health delivery, local social entrepreneurship, patient barriers to care, local medical professionals, and other similar topics. Photographer and filmmaker volunteers work with Unite For Sight to develop special film and photo projects for advocacy purposes. The opportunity allows filmmakers, photographers, and students of film and photography, an opportunity to participate in and learn about development issues while making a significant impact.
Dates are flexible for volunteer filmmakers and photographers; please indicate your availability in your application.