January 10, 2011 09:00 ET

TWECS: Giving Back; Meet Canadian Doctor, Dr. Marina Roma-March

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 10, 2011) - For the past 15 years the Burnaby doctor has completed *14 volunteer aid missions, examining and outfitting 60,000 people with eye glasses in the developing world.

Many of the people are squatters and homeless, living in the Mountains and railways of the Philippines and desolate areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Peru, Cambodia and India.

Dr. Roma-March, a graduate from UBC with a doctorate in Optometry at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon, was born in the Philippines. The birth of TWECS (Third World Eye Care Society) is the result of a promise she made to her grandmother.

Each year with a team of volunteers, Dr. Roma-March collects new and gently-used glasses, fixes and cleans them, and works on the intricate and difficult plans required to travel to developing countries to help people see and read.

During the most recent aid mission in November 2010 to Olongapo, Philippines, the group (made up entirely of volunteers) also brought clothing, rice and toiletries.

The November 2011 TWECS volunteer aid mission is travelling to Nicaragua.

Please watch this three-minute video and see first-hand local hero - Dr. Marina Roma-March at work, and the people she is helping:


Here are some ways the public can assist Dr. Roma-March in her mission to help individuals see and read in the third world:

  • Volunteers can collect and help process and sanitize eyeglasses. Volunteers meet every Monday evening at 7:00 pm in the basement of the Burnaby-Lougheed Lions Club at 7420 Mulberry in Burnaby, off 16th and Cariboo Rd.
  • From January 10 to February 16 2011, North Vancouver-based Suntech Optics and London Drugs will donate one new pair of reading glasses to TWECS for each pair of Infokus readers purchased at London Drugs during this time. (3200 pairs of new readers were donated in 2009 through this initiative.)
  • Donate eyeglasses at local Optometrists offices.

*TWECS was unable to aid China in 1995 due to SARS, which is why there have been 14 missions in 15 years, instead of 15.

For more information regarding TWECS, please visit:

For more information regarding the Infokus/London Drugs partnership to help aid TWECS, please visit:

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