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Some of the glasses donated to the campaign. SUR
Sights set on supplying spectacles to the needy in the Gambia

Sights set on supplying spectacles to the needy in the Gambia

Alan Boardman, who has raised thousands of euros for local worthy causes with his Mijas Walking Tours group, is heading to the West African country next month, where he says “there is an acute need for eyeglasses of all kinds”

Tuesday, 5 December 2023, 18:05

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A popular Brtish resident renowned for numerous fundraising initiatives on the Costa del Sol has launched his latest campaign, an appeal to supply underprivileged families in the Gambia with spectacles. After learning that many Gambians cannot afford to buy glasses, Alan Boardman, who has raised thousands of euros for local worthy causes with his Mijas Walking Tours group, is heading to the smallest country in West Africa, where he says “even though it’s an improving situation, there is an acute need for spectacles of all kinds”.

Alan and his wife Jenny are using their winter holiday as an opportunity to deliver the glasses. They have been put in touch with two charities in the Gambia that will distribute the spectacles to those who need them most.

“If you've any specs in decent condition that you don't need any more, they will be greatly received. They will be given by us to the needy in the Gambia, because, due to their level of poverty, the price of a pair of eyeglasses is beyond their reach,” Alan told SUR in English.

Alan and Jenny are also asking for donations of pencils and crayons “seeing as they are not supplied in schools”.

The couple have organised a drop-off point at the Café Manila in Los Boliches on Thursday 14 December between 1pm and 4pm. Donations can also be left in the charity shops of Arch (Alhaurín el Grande), Last Chance Rescue (Coín), and Age Concern (Los Boliches).

The Gambia, like many other African countries, is struggling to address persistent health system challenges. Among the poorest countries in the world, a third of the population live under the international poverty line. WHO data shows that although one in three Gambians needs refractive error correction, only 50 per cent are aware they have a vision problem.

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