This January, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Governor of Mus (Mush) accepted our proposal for a mission to Mus, Turkey. We are currently registering volunteers, and are asking interested individuals to step forward now as travel arrangements need to be made in advance of the summer holidays.

For those of you who might not know us, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) is an organization of optometrists and other interested individuals who are dedicated to providing vision care to people around the world who cannot otherwise afford or obtain it. More information on VOSH can be found at www.vosh.org. Northeast VOSH (NeVosh) is a member of VOSH and renamed itself to reflect its heavy participation by New Englanders from the Northeastern USA. Since 1987, NeVosh has provided an annual humanitarian eye and health care mission to Central America.

photograph by hannes-swoboda

Mus is one of the poorest areas in Turkey, located west of Lake Van it is in the region where the Pontus and Taurus Mountains converge, in Southeastern Anatolia. The landscape is rugged and has severe winters. Mount Ararat is located in this area. The Mus Valley is a fertile basin and various rivers flow through it.

The mission will be in August when vacation schedules make travel easier. The weather will also be pleasant, and not as hot as in other parts of the country. Our current schedule has us departing on the 12th of August for Istanbul and leaving Mus by Friday the 19th. We imagine many volunteers will want to spend more time in Turkey after the mission, and we can work with you to this end. Those returning directly after the mission can anticipate being back in the Eastern United States by Sunday the 21st.

The Governor of Mus has put at our disposal the facilities of a professional medical high school in their city. We also anticipate working with local health care professionals and students. Since facilities in Mus may allow for surgery, the mission would significantly benefit if our team included an Ophthalmologist. In total, we are looking to assemble a team of at least 15, though this number might increase to 20 or more. The minimum positions are:

Optometry Students
Optical Dispensers
Dental Assistants
Non-medical support people

Our estimate of costs from New York JFK and back is $1750 (flight is approximately $1200). It includes airfare to and from Istanbul, travel to and from Istanbul and Mus, hotel in Mus, and several group dinners and lunches during the mission. It does not include vacation travel and accommodations after the mission.

Tentative Schedule for volunteers from the United States (all dates are in August 2005):

12th Friday Depart JFK, THY flight #2, 5:45pm
13th Saturday Arrive in Istanbul, 9:30am
Depart for Ankara, THY, 1:00pm
Spend night in Ankara, hotel accommodations will be arranged in advance
14th Sunday Depart for Mus, THY, 10:00am
Arrive in Mus, 11:30am
Orientation/ Set-up at mission site
15th Monday Day one
16th  Tuesday  Day two
17th  Wednesday Day three
18th  Thursday Day four/ pack-up mission at end of day
19th   Friday * Depart Mus Airport for Ankara/Istanbul, or other destination of your choice
    Arrive Istanbul late evening, stay at hotel of your choice
20th Saturday While at least one day in Istanbul is probably desirable, one could leave Istanbul at Noon and be in New York by late evening on Saturday.
21st Sunday Depart Istanbul at Noon
Arrive JFK late evening

(*) After leaving Mus, the remainder of the trip is up to the individual. Some people may want to travel further in Turkey.

I look forward to an exciting and rewarding mission. I respectfully submit this request for volunteers and for donations. All donations will fund the purchase of medicines, supplies, and equipment. Donations are 100% tax deductible. Make checks out to “NeVosh” and mail to Ali C. Hocek at the address below. For your tax purposes, a receipt will follow your donations.

For a Mission Application, you may download one from this web page.

Thank you.

Ali C. Hocek, AIA
NeVosh Co-coordinator
285 Lafayette Street – 4B
New York, NY 10012
212/ 965-9636 tel
212/965-9412 fax
Sadi Dinlenc, PE
NeVosh Co-coordinator
417 East 57th Street – 24C
New York, NY 10022
212/ 308-1819 tel
646/ 321-2115 fax

We wish to thank many people for their support, including our colleagues at NeVosh, Smile Forever, Call It Kismet LLC, Tunc Ugdul and Levent Sahinkaya from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and many others.

2012 Panama & Tennessee | 2010 Nueva Esperanza | 2009 Nueva Esperanza | 2008 Nandaime | 2007 Monimbo | 2006 Nandasmo | 2005 Catarina | 2005 Mus | 2004 Nindiri | 2003 Jinotepe | 2002 Ticuantepe | 2001 Monimbo | 2000 La Concepción | 1999 Masatepe | 1998 Niquinohomo | 1997 Lake Yohoa | 1996 Jutiapa | 1995 Omoa | 1994 Vera Paz | 1993 Coatepeque | 1993 Salama | 1992 Chimeltenango | 1991 Chichicastenango | 1990 Comayagua | 1989 San Manuel | 1988 Omoa | 1987 Santa Rosa

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