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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

A Promise to Peru, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: A Promise to Peru, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non profit organization has established an annual mission that transports a portable full service eye and medical clinic and a portable operating room. State of the art equipment is transported and used to diagnose and treat cataracts as well as other eye diseases. Basic medical and eye care are provided to people of all ages in these remote areas. Physicians and other health professionals from across the NY metropolitan area and around the United States donate their time and talents towards this effort. They also mentor medical students from Stony Brook, Upstate, NYCOM, St George's, University of Texas and Columbia University, State University of New York optometry students, pharmacology, public health students and undergraduate students from various universities. These students assist the physicians and nurses in their treatment of the hundreds of patients seen daily.

Results: Since the non-profit’s inception, the medial team has accomplished: • 8,350 medical exams on patients from remote villages, orphanages and schools • 310 Portable ultrasonography examinations • 5,400 patients examined in the eye clinic • Approximately 460 sight restoring surgical procedures performed • 8,300 pairs of glasses administered

Target demographics: the indigent population

Direct beneficiaries per year: Nearly 1,900 patients were evaluated in the medical and eye clinics, more than 1,600 pairs of prescription glasses and sunglasses were dispensed, over 60 ultrasound exams were performed and 63 eye surgeries were performed. Many patients with very poor vision were once again able to see their world and be part of a community once again.

Geographic areas served: remote regions of the Sacred Valley, Peru, Ecuador and other regions in need

Programs: an annual cataract surgical and medical mission, all health care is provided free of charge

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with this nonprofit for the first time in June 2017 and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my medical school training. I am graduating in May 2018 and this trip fortified my interest in international medicine; it provided the perfect exposure to establishing a sustainable and impactful relationship with underprivileged patient populations and their local medical providers. I am forever grateful to the leaders and organizers for granting me the opportunity to participate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated in two trips with A Promise to Peru, once as an undergraduate and once as a medical student, and both trips were some of the most memorable and fulfilling moments of my life so far. Under the guidance of Dr. Messina and the multitude of team members the trips are well organized (from travel to packing everything necessary for a functioning OR) and make it possible to make major impacts on the lives of the people we are fortunate to work with in Peru. I was able to assist with translating, taking medical histories, performing eye exams and visual acuities, and was also able to work closely with the physicians and surgeons on the mission during patient encounters and surgeries. Being able to work with a patient through all of the steps: from initial eye exams to post-op instructions, and being on the receiving end of their thankful hugs and smiles following the procedure is truly a life changing experience and definitely puts all of the hard work/education into perspective.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This group does amazing work- literally restoring sight to the blind through free cataract surgery and eye glasses. They also instill their sense of professionalism and service in others by including medical and optometry students in their efforts. An outstanding organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every time I accompany this medical mission I find myself growing as a person and with the individuals involved. This is a great organization that does very meaningful work! I volunteer to help others and myself.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon this organization several years ago when I attended a fund raising dinner on a Thursday evening when my wife was working. I thought they’d have a dozen people show up, so I went in support of a friend who told me he was going on this medical mission. I was quite surprised to see over a hundred people turn up for this event. I was so intrigued by the concept of the mission and the zeal of the leadership that I signed my wife and myself up to join the mission on that year’s trip to Peru. We have both become quite involved in helping the organization, volunteering on multiple missions, helping organize fundraising activities, packing and unpacking supplies and equipment, and participating in planning and Board of Directors meetings. The mission work involves taking time off as vacation from our jobs, paying our own way to travel to South America, and volunteering long hours each day during the mission week. The people that we examine, treat and operate on are truly thankful, as am I from the satisfaction I receive from being able to help these individuals who would otherwise not have their sight. Promise to Peru is a not-for-profit organization that raises funds and organizes individuals to volunteer to improve vision and restore sight to poor and impoverished people, a truly wonderful mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am very grateful to have been able to participate on a trip to Peru with this organization. As a medical student, I was able to participate as a Spanish translator, take medical history, perform eye and physical exams on patients, observe cataract surgeries, and work with a group of amazing volunteers who appreciated each other and enjoyed working and learning from each other and from the patients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My participation in Promise to Peru solidified my desire to become a physician. I truly enjoyed helping enact a meaningful and visible change in these patients’ lives. The team of volunteers who came to Peru were an excited and inspiring group of individuals that made this experience even more special.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This non-profit is an amazing organization that provides health care to the rural populations of Peru. As an ophthalmologist I had the opportunity to see many diseases that I have only read about and deliver care to people who desperately need health care. The mission provides general health care as well as ophthalmic care. I highly recommend this nonprofit.

bepstein

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to work with A Promise to Peru as a volunteer ophthalmologist on three occasions. These trips have been very rewarding both personally and professionally. The physicians who comprise our team are excellent. The academic affiliation with SUNY Stonybrook allows medical students to join in this experience and provides a "one on one" teaching opportunity.

Our patient population is largely rural and indigenous with few local options for eye care. Many of these patients have severe vision loss due to cataract, which we are able to treat with a short surgical procedure. The local physicians are very supportive of our mission to serve these patients and our interactions with them are very positive.

On a personal note my family members and I found the group dynamic very unique. The dedication by all members of the team made these trips enjoyable--both during our workday and during our free time. I plan on returning again this year!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a veteran of previous medical trips in developing nations I was particularly impressed by this experience. This is wonderful group of dedicated volunteers who planned and executed a very successful mission. I plan to return for a third trip!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

“Promise to Peru” es una organización sin fines de lucro, que hace un trabajo arduo y una labor loable
con la gente mas desvalida y olvidada de Perú dándoles esperanza y regresándolos a la vida con una cirugía de cataratas o con un par de lentes de medida que transforma su vida.
Los organizadores preparan todo minuciosamente logrando un éxito total, a pesar de contar con un presupuesto reducido y un centro medico con muchas limitaciones.

Mi experiencia como interprete ha sido fascinante e incredible y siendo Peruana, he tenido la oportunidad de ver a mi gente de comunidades lejanas que vienen a ver a todos los doctors y sentir una satisfación indiscreptible cuando veía esas caritas felices, si saber como agradecer o haciéndolo a su manera de que pueden ver y regresar a sus actividedes diarias.

Felicito a todos los voluntarios por realizar una labor incredible, trabajan desde el amanacer hasta el atardecer para tratar de atender a todos los pacientes que vienen buscando esperanza y solución a sus problemas de salud; sin una queja, al contrario todos ayudando de la mejor manera.

Me siento orgullosa de poder ser parte de esta misión y contribuir con su digna causa y lo repetiré las veces que sea necesario.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve had the privilege to be a part of this medical mission for over 5 years. For me, it started out as a great group of professionals helping others. I now consider it THE BEST example of a loving family helping our worldly neighbors. This starts out almost a year prior, getting permits and making travel arrangements to make the mission possible. During the days of the mission, in our remote locations, some patients travel long distances to receive medical care for the first time in their lives. I have witnessed time after time, the positive, life changing care given, creates smiles, and even tears of joy, for all involved. This creates a lasting bond between the doctors, nurses, translators, and volunteers to do all this amazing work again. It is truly an honor to have been a part of this outstanding charity.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a well run organization! Every detail is attended to with grace and professionalism. I've been on several missions with A Promise to Peru and plan to continue. We have made a measurable and lasting difference in the lives of so many of our neighbors to the south.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the incredible experience of participating as an ophthalmologist/surgeon on the June 2017 mission to Calca, Peru. It was a life changing experience and one I will never forget. The ability to care for those who truly need our help without the hindrance of computerized medical records, needless bureaucracy and governmental interference was wonderful. The gratitude of the many patients, the team work of the excellent volunteer health care workers, physicians, surgeons and local staff was a true pleasure. Dr. Messina's and the board's efforts in organizing the mission were worthy of the highest praise. The organization is well named. It keeps its promises!
Arnold Prywes, MD

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Luigi Canepa and I volunteered as an interpreter in 2016 Peru and 2015 Ecuador missions. The experience with Promise to Peru has been incredible, mesmerizing and unimaginable. Incredible in that the amount of coordination, planning and labor that go in to the missions with a successful outcome; both missions were completed with the intention and with excellence. The mesmerizing areas that we attend not only allowed me to experience the people but the environment and the country itself; every mission has been an adventure. The unimaginable is found in the impact that we are making on the communities and the difference in the quality of life, happiness and health we bring to the people. It has been a true joy and educational experience to participate with Promise to Peru and I look forward to continuing with my participation.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This was my first mission and what a great experience it was! A Promise to Peru is a well run organization that afforded me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many in a remote area of Peru. It was a truly rewarding experience. I worked with wonderful people from many parts of the US who came together to provide medical and ophthalmic care to an underserved population. It was a week that changed my life!
Louise

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering and giving back to the community both in the U.S and outside with a number of organizations for over 20 years. I recently did so with this organization and I am truly happy I did so. The leadership and organizational activities were excellent. Providing high quality care and being genuinely caring for the people of Peru , working long hours but seeing how appreciative the patients were and helpful each participant were ,was encouraging. This organization provided a number of resources to ensure that patients were well cared for. I will recommend this organization to anyone who wants to willingly give back and help to make this our world a better place. Even though many of us did not speak Spanish fluently, Interpreters were put into place. In addition none of us knew Quechua - Language , but yet again Promise to Peru facilitated interpreters so we could have communicated with the patients. Bravo Promise to Peru!! I will be willing to serve with you again and continue to recommend this organization to others.

J. Gulstone Family Nurse Practitioner Brooklyn .N.Y

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my second trip with A Promise for Peru. I have nothing but the best to say about them. I thank the organization very much for the opportunity to contribute.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Loved my time as a volunteer for a Promise to Peru. The team did a great job a bringing everyone together, building amazing chemistry between all members, and supported us throughout the entire mission. (Before with meetings and get togethers, during with team leaders, transportation, logging, and food, and after with a reunion planed)

Thanks A Promise to Peru!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A part of the medical team stayed at our hotel Las Casitas del Arco Iris, part of the foundation of Niños del Arco Iris. Students of our school helped the mission by assisting to the logistic part with the patients and above all as translators Spanish-English and Spanish-Quechua (the language of the local people. I personally visited the project in Calca and was very impressed by the great number of patients who were present. Incredible. I was also very impressed by the great spirit and dedication of the medical team. A ot lof respect for them and we will welcome them with wide open arms anytime they will be in Peru again.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, I will like to tell you about my experience with "A Promise to Peru," a nonprofit organization. When I met the members of the organization I felt like we were family working together for a goal to give vision back to people in need, in very poor areas where they don't have any medical assistance near them.
I work as a surgical technologist at Island Eye Surgicenter, located in Carle Place, Long Island NY; I work assisting in cataract surgeries every day for seventeen years, and I thought this was the time for me to give back what I learned throughout my time.
I love what I do every day and I love to help people, especially when I see the results when they can see again makes me feel very happy that I did something for someone who needed it.