LifeNets Volunteer Sonali Fiske Helps with
Eyeglass Distribution in Sri Lanka

December 2007/January 2008

Sonali Fiske has been an avid supporter of LifeNets projects ever since we started building the Malakia Clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi in 2000.  Since then she and her friends have helped in several places in the world, most notably in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami in 2005 when she was instrumental in a project that built eight home and provided several livelihoods.  A blog was maintained that documented their story.


Below is her report from her trip to Sri Lanka which was from December 26 to January 10, 2008. The eyeglasses were sent on October 16, 2007 from Cincinnati to Sri Lanka for distribution.

February 19, 2008


On January 5, 2008 we arrived at the Mahasena Village in Sri Lanka to help complete the school's library and furnish it with much-needed books. This particular school in rural Mahasena, is about six hours north of Colombo, near the famed Sigiriya rock fortress, dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World. The school is very impoverished and they greatly lack many supplies which many kids are used to here in the U.S. For instance, there are intermittent black outs and the school doesn't always have electricity.

Sonali Fiske

Nevertheless, we arrived to bring a little hope, some laughter and our love to these kids who received us with so much warmth and hospitality in return. When we did inform them that we had a donation of eyeglasses, the entire village was abuzz with excitement. Soon, the word was spread throughout the village  and many locals were scurrying through the school gate to receive their gift.

Some of the volunteers in our group hurriedly spread out all the eyeglasses on tables, while the villagers filled the assembly room. It was so exciting to see the sea of people taking their seat, in such great anticipation.

We had also made arrangements with an optometrist in town, to arrive the following day to help fill their prescriptions. So, they went about selecting their frame, which is considered very costly in Sri Lanka. We cannot express the utter joy and fulfillment we felt as volunteers to fit them, assist them  and accept their gratitude for this small gift.

Thank you, LifeNets for giving us this awesome privilege. It is truly amazing to note that some one's old pair of used eyeglasses, can bring so much hope  and renewed joy to someone over 6,000 miles away. It is so humbling to see what can take place when we bring our hearts  and hands together in such a simple way.  Thank you!



Hit Counter


Volunteers prepare to hand out eyeglasses

At last! An elderly woman finds her pair 

The school children assemble for our arrival

Be The Cause Volunteers, Christine & Raju prepare to distribute the eyeglasses

Sonali Fiske with some of the village school kids

The Villagers assemble to receive their gift of eyeglasses

The display

The villagers anxiously try on various pairs

From October 2007 report in

Below is a shipment of 560 pair of LifeNets eyeglasses to Sri Lanka from the Home Office of the United Church of God in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 16, 2007.  The eyeglasses will be distributed in December when Sonali Fiske from California who will come to Sri Lanka with a group on a humanitarian mission. 

Janet Treadway and Larry Perkins helping prepare the shipment of 560 pair of glasses to Sri Lanka on October 15, 2007.  Special thanks to Greg McCloud who dispatched the consignment.

Beverly Kubik at the Kubik's home in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 14, 2007 packaging the eyeglasses into six cartons for Sri Lanka.