Fresh from a long-haul flight from Sydney, a team of 12 pilots and cabin crew members embarked on a special trip to Molino in Cavite Province, just outside the Philippine capital of Manila.
The Qantas Cabin Crew Team (QCCT) – a charity organised by volunteer employees of Australian flag-carrier Qantas – is back in Cavite to do a vision screening event with the children of Molino community and Ang Bahay Parola Grace Home.
The team has been running an educational program in the Molino community. Their long-time partner, Ang Bahay Parola (ABP), is a shelter-school for street children, orphans, and children from poor families.
QCCT partnered with The Fred Hollows Foundation, an Australian eye health organisation working to end avoidable blindness in more than 25 countries including the Philippines.
Traveling for more than four hours, The Foundation’s partner eye doctors from Quezon Province conducted comprehensive eye checks for 20 children from ABP, and 30 children from the Molino community.
“Of the 50 children screened, 31 children needed eyeglasses or further examinations. More than half of the children had vision problems, and this was higher than we anticipated,” The Fred Hollows Foundation Philippines Country Manager Dr Maria Victoria Rondaris said.
“This showed the importance of regular eye checks, especially when children mostly spend their time indoors due to the stay-at-home restrictions of the pandemic in the last couple of years,” she said.
The event ended with a dance presentation from the children, and a filling lunch for everyone.
After almost two and a half years since the pandemic started, the Qantas volunteers were happy to be back on the ground – seeing hope in the eyes of the children they’re committed to support.