IMPOVERISHED ISLANDERS’ UNEXPECTED GIFT OF SIGHT A ‘SEADREAM’
More than a dozen villagers in one of the most impoverished and remote island groups in Myanmar (formerly Burma) are now able to see clearly again thanks to an unexpected Christmas gift following a visit by SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream II.
SeaDream’s Australian Director of Business Development, Julie Denovan was aboard SeaDream II when it visited the remote Similan Islands group as part of the company’s first-ever Asia season in November, and was saddened by the big number of islanders to whom the world around them was a constant blur because of eye cataracts.
Knowing that SeaDream’s Australian Media Relations Advisor, David Ellis was also visiting the islands aboard SeaDream II just two weeks later, Ms Denovan sent him a hasty email suggesting he buy a handful of magnifier glasses to give to the most badly sight-affected villagers, who largely survive by fishing, during his visit.
David, and Managing Editor of travel publication TravelTalk, Jon Underwood who was also aboard SDII, bought 20 pairs of magnifiers of varying strength in Australia, and when they visited the Similan Islands in December were able to distribute over a dozen of these to the most badly-afflicted islanders – several of whom had a tear in their eyes after receiving their gifts, and discovering a suddenly clearer world around them. David and Jon left the remaining pairs of glasses with a local community worker who offered to distribute them to other cataract-affected islanders in even remoter inland village.