Lindsay Hampton graduated from the BPA Communication Studies program in 2008. She was awarded an Athabasca University Alumni Award in November 2012 for her volunteer work which blends her expertise in visual communication and her interest in eye health to help others, particularly children, to see. Lindsay credits AU's model of flexibility and unique access to learning for the opportunity to study while continuing to work, including volunteering both in Canada and overseas.
Several years ago Lindsay, who was a photojournalist, followed her dream to work in medicine in the area of eye health, working as a specialist in ophthalmic imaging, which aids physicians to diagnose eye diseases. During this she also organized fundraisers for children with eye cancer (retinoblastoma) and volunteered teaching ophthamic imaging techniques for this rare eye cancer in Egypt, India and Kenya. Avoidable blindness and visual impairment are estimated by the World Health Organization to affect 285 million people worldwide, including 19 million children. Experiencing first-hand the power of education and local capacity-building on preventing blindness, in 2011 Lindsay launched a new foundation, So Kids Can See, http://www.sokidscansee.org dedicated to promoting and implementing early vision screening programs. She explains that “we're looking to … develop community resources to relieve the poverty that's at the heart of avoidable blindness…We want to promote vision screening programs in every part of the world where those resources don't exist now.”
To generate funding resources for the foundation, Lindsay has recently co-founded a new website called Ugivia http://www.ugivia.com to help her foundation and other organizations reach fund-raising goals, while allowing them to spend more of their time on the actual cause. The site brings online gaming and giving together, enabling people to play games while simultaneously helping non-profit organizations across the globe. Through acquiring points through their game playing, players have the opportunity to contribute to projects developed by numerous charitable organizations. Lindsay believes that the integration of involvement and volunteering into everyday life in this way will raise awareness and connection to issues in a global world. Congratulations to Lindsay for her creative and compassionate exploration of the field of visual communication and health.
Article adapted from Open Magazine profile by Cathy Nickel and the So Kids Can See and Ugivia websites.
Updated February 25 2015 by Student & Academic Services