We at Karuna Trust have now initiated another meritorious activity with the launch of their latest project, “Karuna Community Eye Care Centre” to help underprivileged people of Sri Lanka who suffer from various forms of vision impairments. We are focused to create awareness that blindness is preventable and address the issue of vision loss of thousands of people due to cataract by facilitating free cataract surgeries. We also distribute spectacles free of charge for those of lower income under this new project.
What Motivated Us to Move into Eye Care Services
Since 2015 Karuna Trust has been a partnering organization of Vision 2020 Sri Lanka; a program launched under the Ministry of Health to resolve the issue of preventable blindness and has been closely associated in helping them in numerous projects by giving donations, organizing eye camps in predetermined locations and initiating programs to give spectacles to students suffering with low vision. The Chief coordinator of Vision 2020, Dr. Asela Abeydheera, was fully devoted to the subject. When Vision 2020 program came to an end in 2017, Dr. Asela joined the YED unit of the Ministry of Health. Thereafter all programs we were carrying on with Vision 2020 too came to an end. As we were keen to continue these meritorious activities, our programs continued with our own initiative. On invitation Dr.Asela Abeydheera was associated with Karuna Trust and together we conducted several eye camps in remote villages and facilitated cataract surgeries for the needy people. As these programs were continuing successfully we proposed to Dr. Asela, to join hands to set up an eye clinic to serve the deserving people free of charge. The ultimate result was that we were able to commence an eye clinic under the auspices of Karuna Community Eye Care Center (KCECC) with the mutual understanding that Karuna Trust would preside over the financial and administration activities and Dr. Asela Abedeera through the Sri Lanka Association of Community Ophthalmologists (SLACO) would administer the medical activities of this project.
What We Do and The Services We Offer
Our main objective is to help give sight to those who are blind and visually impaired due to eye ailments including cataract. Anyone who walks in to our eye clinic can get their eyes checked free of charge. Those patients who are of low income are entitled for free cataract surgeries and/or spectacles. Any student with low vision can obtain a pair of eye glasses of high quality made to prescription free of charge. Under this project we also conduct Eye Screening Camps in remote areas of Sri Lanka under our outreach program to identify less privileged persons diagnosed with cataract which can cause total blindness if not treated early. All such patients diagnosed with cataract are brought to eye hospitals in close proximity to where the eye camps are held after we facilitate them to undergo cataract surgery. Following surgery, we ensure the safe return of all patients to their respective homes. The total cost of such surgery including transport to and from and other incidental expenses are borne by Karuna Trust. All Outreach Eye Screening Programs are conducted under the direct supervision of Dr. Asela Abeydheera.
How We Operate
Karuna Community Eye Care Centre (KCECC) is 100% funded by Karuna Trust. A budgeted sum of SLR 600,000.00 per month is allocated by Karuna Trust to meet the running costs of the eye clinic. All overheads which include rent, salaries, medicines, electricity, water etc., is paid by this allocation and the remaining funds are utilized to meet the cost of cataract surgeries and spectacles which are provided free of charge to the under privilege.
Funding & Donations
The eye camps under the outreach program and the cataract surgeries are completely funded by donations we receive. A part of the School children’s program is also funded by individual donations we receive whilst the other part is funded by Karuna Trust. Other than the donations we receive from Karuna Trust, which is the CSR project of Karunaratne & Sons (Pvt.) Ltd., we have not implemented any other fund raising programs. Nevertheless we receive a few donations from a few individual donors and donor organizations through the personal contacts of Dr. Asela Abedeera and Mr. Mahinda Karunaratne of Karuna Trust.
The KCECC Eye Clinic
The Eye Clinic functions under the guidance of Dr. Asela Abedeer. Clinic is open from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm during all week days. Medical consultations start from 4.30 p.m. for about 2 hours. Dr. Asela Abedeera visits the clinic three days of the week and Community Ophthalmologist Dr. Nalin Gunasinghe one day of the week. They render their services on an honorary basis without any form of remuneration. During the remaining days Medical Professionals are retained at a fee. All such costs are met by KCECC. The Eye clinic is managed by Mrs. Shyma Wimalagunesekera who is a qualified and long experienced Optometrist. She carries out the vision testing using latest technology and in addition supervises the daily activities of the clinic. She works full day and renders her services on an honorary basis without any remuneration. She is assisted by two young girls employed by KCECC.
One of the board members of Karuna Trust, Mr. Amith Samarasinghe, also renders his honorary services to carry out day to day operations of KCECC. Mr. Mahinda Karunaratne the Chairman of Karuna Trust visits the clinic daily and presides over day to day activities to ensure the smooth functioning of the clinic. Community Ophthalmologist Dr. Vajeesha Disanayaka also renders her services on a voluntary basis for our eye camps. KCECC is a joint effort of a group of people with common interests.
We have a special program to assist the low vision students. Under this program teachers of selected schools are given training on primary eye care to enable them identify students suffering from low vision. Once the teachers identify students with low vision or any other vision impairment we arrange a team of qualified optometrists to visit the schools to further examine the selected students. Students diagnosed with low vision will be given Prescriptive Spectacles of high quality free of charge whilst the students diagnosed with other forms of vision impairments are referred to Government Eye Units as appropriate for further treatment. This program runs under the advice of Dr. Nalin Gunasinghe and the direct supervision of Mr. Mahinda Karunaratne of Karuna Trust.
Currently all overheads and other expenses of the eye clinic are met by the monthly allocation of Rs. 600,000.00 received from Karuna Trust. Whilst the monthly overheads account to around Rs. 150,000/-, the remaining amount from the above allocation is fully utilized to perform cataract surgeries for deserving patients. With the balance allocation we could facilitate cataract surgeries only to about 50 beneficiaries. According to latest statistics available from reliable sources, more than 1,500,000 patients currently await free cataract surgeries. Hence our aim is to facilitate for at least 100 or more cataract surgeries a month to augment the ongoing efforts of the state to minimize the back log of patients. To achieve the above objective we are in need of an additional SLRs. 550,000.00 a month and hereby solicit the kind support in way of generous contributions from all our Donors and Philanthropists to make this project a success.
How You Can Help Us.
Your kind contributions and donations may be in memory of your late Parent, Family Member, Relative or Friend or to mark any special occasion such as Birthdays, Anniversaries or any other special occasion.
There are many ways you can help us.
- You could sponsor the cost of one or more cataract surgeries. Currently each surgery costs US$ 70.00 or SLRS. 10,000.00.
- Sponsorship of Spectacles for a group of students. Each pair of spectacle costs US$ 10.00 or SLRs. 1,500.00 per pair.
- A standard Donation of Rs. 1,000.00 a month through a bank standing order and sponsor 01 Cataract surgery and a quality pair of Prescriptive Spectacle for a deserving student annually.
- Sponsor 01 pair of Prescriptive Spectacle by donating Rs. 150.00 per month through a bank standing order for a period of one year.
Your donations can be made to one of the following accounts favouring Karuna Trust.
- A/C No. 81010542, Bank of Ceylon, Homagama, Sri Lanka, ABN (SWIFT) BCEYLKLX,
- A/c. No. 1750029929, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Homagam, Sri Lanka, ABN(SWIFT) CCEYLKLX,
- A/c. No.108761003812, Sampath Bank, Pannipitiya.
Karuna Trust 65C Thalgahavila Road,