This non-profit organization helps seniors pay for cataract surgery. And it was founded by teenagers.


HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A team of five teens is the driving force behind WikiVision, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people who need cataract surgery but can’t afford it.

“Since our mother is an eye surgeon and a large part of the people of Hawaii are unable to get the treatment they need, we decided to do so,” said Arabella Tan.

The idea came from a school project his brother, Alexander, was working on. He worked out the details with his mother, Dr Vivien Tham.

“I wanted to give back to my community through this project,” Alexander said.

School friends Owen Lai, Adam Nguyen and Caleb Lee got on board.

The teens organized a fundraiser that raised over $ 30,000 and they visited community centers and churches to select suitable candidates for the surgery.

Those who did not qualify received free eye exams and reading glasses.

“They’ve been working on this project for over a year and a half now. They’ve really had a lot of impact on this community, ”Tham said.

WikiVision has worked with Project Vision Hawaii, Pacific Vision Institute of Hawaii, and Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii. Last month, the nonprofit paid for cataract surgeries for eight people.

The cost of the operation can reach $ 10,000 for patients who do not have insurance.

“When they finally got to see again, they were so grateful. You could see how much we were able to change their lives and make a difference, ”said Arabella.

The association has its own YouTube channel, where students post videos on various health-related topics. “It helps a lot of people in different ways,” Tham said.

In addition to working locally, WikiVision hopes to provide free cataract surgeries in underdeveloped countries. A mission to Mexico is also planned during the spring break.

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