St. Maarten Prime Minister and Health Minister assist with Vision Screening Project

POSTED: 08/9/11 11:59 AM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever attended the end program of the Vision Screening Project, a pilot project that gave young students, whose parents gave consent, a thorough eye exam.

The Vision Project is a project initiated by the proprietors of St. Maarten Optical, Rick and Cathy Heemskerk. The couple donated eye glasses to students who could not afford them and the presentation was done on August 5 at the store.
“Hearing problems are easier to detect than vision problems. At times, these students think of themselves as less intelligent. When kids do not know they cannot see well, a negative perception emerges,” C. Heemskerk said.
“This program is invaluable to the community, the donation of the eye glasses. Rick and Cathy, I want to thank you very much for that. This program has a come a long way. It is important to have children checked, because you never know. The government looks forward to continuing the program,” Wescot-Williams said.

De Weever also thanked the Heemskerks for their efforts and kindness.
“This gesture goes a long way. In addition, the children have two weeks to get accustomed to wearing the spectacles, so they will be relaxed and comfortable with their eye glasses when school starts,” the minister said.
In addition, to their glasses each child each child received a small “back-to-school” bag of educational goodies.

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