My motivation to join Eyes4Everest stemmed from a deep personal need within to make a difference to communities that lack access to eye care. I believe good vision is a basic human right and have a strong sense for social justice and equality regardless of race, beliefs or demographics.

I always knew this journey would be different from previous experiences, in that for the first time, I was to be challenged in a physical sense and pushed outside my comfort zone. Never before did I have to rely on my own two feet to get me to my destination, let alone face the struggles of altitude.

I felt a great sense of pride in being able to share this journey with my children, Shane and Tali. For years, they had been exposed to my passion for giving back and to share this experience with them would give them an opportunity to experience first hand how meaningful it feels to “pay it forward” and provide perspective for the privilege they have had in being brought up in Australia.

Team EBC 2018 came together as a group of strangers bound by our common goals. We quickly let down our guard and firm friendships were instantly established. We enjoyed sharing our personal stories and learned about our cultures, family backgrounds, and personal interests.

The clinics were a highlight. We were able to provide access to good vision for some and for others, we hope that the referrals will be followed through and good outcomes achieved. I personally spent hours thinking about how to make Shaun’s legacy more sustainable and have an even bigger long-term impact. Visiting Kumjung was a personal highlight. We felt a great sense of pride to meet the families of our guides and their warmth and hospitality radiated upon us. Connecting the past and where it all began to the future of a permanent clinic sight made a lasting impression and fuelled my desire to continue to work closely with Eyes4Everest to have a lasting impact for the beautiful people of the Himalayas.

It is ultimately the triumph of the human spirit that lives with me. I know, categorically, that I walked away with more than I gave. To watch the spirit of the Nepalese people taught me so many life lessons. They all helped each other, their strong sense for the community and for looking out for each other was palpable. Nobody was ever self-serving and the family and community values resonated strongly and aligned with my personal priorities.

A stand out was without a doubt our Sherpa Guides. These multi-faceted men have my utmost respect and admiration. We were not the strongest, physically fit group and not only did they guide our way, but they motivated every step we walked. They transformed into translators at clinics and their skills often left us in awe of their capability to take over some of the tests, having fun with the patients along the way. They cooked for us, kept us well nourished and had an intuitive eye on each of us, knowing just when a little extra care was needed. I personally know that I would not have made my journey to Base Camp and back without the support of these amazingly humble and beautiful people. They did more than guide us, they were role models in human behaviour and leadership and their attributes can’t be praised more highly.

Without wanting to sound cliched, these experiences shape who we are and leave a lasting impact on building our character. I will forever be connected to the people and know that these memories and every challenging step we took will be remembered fondly for years to come.
— Robyn Weinberg - Bailey Nelson Eyecare Director
 W3 successfully reached Everest Base Camp

W3 successfully reached Everest Base Camp

Coming from a non-optical background, I joined the Eyes4Everest team not knowing exactly how, or if, I was going to be able to make an impact on this journey.

What I soon realised is that having knowledge and skills is a huge asset, but being able to open our hearts, provide ears to listen and hands to help is truly the greatest gift of all. By interacting with the locals and seeing their immense gratitude it became clear that even the smallest acts of kindness were making a difference.

The Eyes4Everest journey taught me about the human spirit, both that we as a group demonstrated and what we received in return. I was truly overwhelmed by the warmth, kindness, generosity, and passion demonstrated by our guides, patients and Nepalese locals we met along the way. Nothing was ever too much to ask or done without a smile. So too I learnt about the power of the mind. Hiking and pushing our bodies to our limits demonstrated the importance of tenacity, determination and strength.

I walk away from this experience with a huge admiration and respect for all the people I met along the way and countless memories and life lessons that I will always treasure.
— Tali Weinberg
 Phakding Eye Mission

Phakding Eye Mission

Everyone can be great because anyone can help.

Being one of the few non-optoms on this journey, I felt humbled playing a part in such an amazing team on an incredible mission.

Despite my Nepalese vocab being limited to “Namaste”, the gesture was always returned with the largest most welcoming smiles. Straying off the tourist track, we were able to experience a more authentic Sherpa experience, highlighting the people’s humility, patience and fierce dedication to work. The trip proved challenging both physically, mentally and emotionally, taking us all a little outside our comfort zones. Working together as a team, we achieved so much more than expected, and through it all, friendships were forged through the blood, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids whose hilarious stories can’t be mentioned.
— Shane Weinberg
 Shane, Tali and Tashi Doma Sherpa Optometrist

Shane, Tali and Tashi Doma Sherpa Optometrist