Volunteer Eye Resources International was created to improve and restore sight to individuals living in extreme poverty in developing nations by providing high quality, comprehensive, & community-driven eye care services applying best practices in global health.
Most of us take for granted our ability to see the world around us and our ease with which we move through our daily lives without restriction. But for those in developing countries, without access to medical treatment and optometry services, poor vision can dramatically impact an individual’s ability to learn, work, and support themselves and their family. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), blindness is an underlying cause of poverty and hunger in developing countries. WHO estimates that of the world’s 39 million blind people:
- 90% live in developing countries
- 80% of the cases are avoidable or treatable
- 48% are blind because of cataracts
We partner with communities in our host country to coordinate and provide adult and pediatric surgery, refractions, and eyeglasses. Our focus is not only on the provision of critically needed services but also to educate and train local providers for long-term sustainability. VER works with host communities to ensure all services are supported, coordinated, and provided in a culturally appropriate manner.
Volunteer Eye Resources International was founded by the friends, family, and larger international community of Robert Martin, a longtime advocate for vision services in South and Central America. As a teenager, Bob made his first trip to Ecuador with Amigos de las Americas, initiating his lifelong passion for helping others to achieve higher levels of health care, including the miracle of sight. For all who knew and worked with Bob, his enthusiasm, dedication, and sense of humor were contagious to those around him.
VER core staff have decades of experience providing vision services to impoverished communities in Central and South America. We invite you to join us in bringing vision services to areas of greatest need.
VER is working to return to Peru in 2023. Given the backlog in care from COVID-19, there is more need than ever for your help to ensure we can return to provide follow-up care, as well as to serve an expected influx of new patients.
Our Urgent Needs:
- Donations to help restore & improve eyesight to those of the greatest need
- Skilled volunteer clinical staff for ophthalmic surgery, optometry, pre-op, recovery room, and eyeglasses fitting
- Equipment and supplies
If you’d like to get involved, please visit our Contact Us page to get more information.
VER International Founders
in memory of ROBERT G. MARTIN II ~ 2015
Mrs. Carol Martin
Meghan R. Martin
Robert G. Martin III
Colleen A. Martin
Ryan P. Martin
Rita and Robert G. Martin I
Rose Martin Schneider
Renee Martin Johnson
Rhonda Martin Slingsby
Vilma and James Salvatore
Dr. Florentino Sotomayor Sánchez
Charissa Cannon Nelson
Cynthia A. Goodale