Eldery at Shelter Receive Free Eye Exams
It’s scary — really scary — to be homeless. Especially when you are older. They call themselves “bomzh,” which comes from the Russian abbreviation for “person without permanent domicile.” Homelessness didn’t exist in Armenia before its independence. Decades later, it is seen as an increasingly serious problem. “Today they are everywhere…” some observers say. “Sleeping on the street and scavenging for food.”
According to the United States CIA Fact Book, 36 percent of Armenians live at or below the official poverty line — with 13 percent living in extreme poverty and 18 percent being unemployed.
Our film shows a glimpse into Seda’s and Armen’s poverty-stricken lives — two elderly Armenians who live on the street. Seda has been living on the street for one year and says her small pension is not enough to feed her. She stays hungry.
With nothing in their lives, being able to see well enough to read is extraordinarily important to Seda and Armen. The Armenian EyeCare Project provides free eye examinations and eyeglasses, the cost of which are out of their reach to these individuals.
When Armen received his new eyeglasses and could read again — he had been trying to read with a magnifying glass — he said, “The joy of my life will be back again.” The Armenian EyeCare Project has provided over 50,000 pairs of eyeglasses for Armenians in need.