Over spring break, high school sophomore Ella Norwitt and her mother Glori will travel to Ghana in western Africa to volunteer with the nonprofit Unite for Sight. This New Haven-based organization supports eye clinics worldwide to eliminate patient barriers to eye care.
“Worldwide, 80% of blindness is preventable,” said Glori Norwitt, who is shadowing Ridgefield optometrist Dr. George Amatuzzi in preparation for her visit. “[A total of] 36 million people are needlessly blind. Unite for Sight has provided services to more than 2.5 million people worldwide, including more than 103,000 sight-restoring surgeries.”
In the capital city of Accra, Ella and Glori will work at Crystal Eye Clinic, assisting the local eye doctors for one week with patient intake, education, visual acuity screening, distributing glasses, and more.
Along with her mom, Ella will also shadow Dr. Amatuzzi at his optometrist practice on Main Street.
“Dr. Amatuzzi’s passion for eye care and treating patients is abundant,” said Glori. “He has greatly helped us to understand more about cataracts, glaucoma, and similar topics.”
In addition to her work with Dr. Amatuzzi, Ella is fund raising for Unite for Sight. Residents can donate as little as $10 at her fund-raising page at slate.uniteforsight.org/register/ellanorwitt.
“Ten dollars helps provide for three to 10 pairs of glasses for someone in need,” said Glori. “The average cost of cataract surgery is $50, which means that $50 will enable someone who is blind to have their sight restored. Can you imagine impacting another person’s life in a more significant way?
“Ella greatly appreciates all donations, and no amount will go unnoticed. 100% of your tax-deductible donation to Unite for Sight goes directly to restoring sight for patients living in extreme poverty.”