NOOR Eye Project

The following is excerpted from an article written by Travis Durfee, who I invited to accompany me on this journey.  Links to Photos NOOR are below this article

One of the many programs run by NOOR (which means “light” in Persian) brings eye care to Afghans in these remote areas through eye camps. Small buses or Range Rovers loaded up with medical equipment trek out to areas of need for two to three weeks at a time to provide a range of basic eye-care services like testing vision, providing eye drops and ointments, and filling eye glass prescriptions. NOOR-trained doctors also perform basic surgical procedures, like cataract removal and lens replacement…

NOOR, a program of the Kabul based International Assistance Mission, has operated almost continually in Afghanistan since 1966. And although it receives no government funding, NOOR provides the majority of eye-care services in Afghanistan…

Tom Little, or Mr. Tom as he is called by the Afghans who work under him, oversees NOOR’s three 40- to 45- bed eye hospitals, one in each of the country’s three major cities of Kabul, Heart, and Mazar-i-Sharif, as well as a number of smaller 8- to 10-bed facilities in the smaller cities of Khost, Nilli and Talaqon. The program also provides support and pays the doctors and technicians at the Ministry of Health’s main hospital in Kabul, an 80-bed facility. NOOR operates roughly a dozen eye camps throughout the country each year, as well as a number of day clinics just outside of the cities containing the major hospitals. All told, NOOR facilities saw 234,570 outpatients in 2003, and operated on more than 14,000.

All of these hospitals are staffed and run by Afghans trained and paid by NOOR, which employs more than 200 Afghans nationwide…NOOR also runs a fully functional, and quite busy, eyeglasses-manufacturing shop in Kabul…NOOR produces and sells approximately 25,000 pairs of low-cost eyeglasses per year… Little likes the program to run autonomously…”That way if we’re ever kicked out of the country again the hospitals don’t have to shut down and people can still get glasses.”

For the complete article, visit

Donations to NOOR
Tax-deductible contributions to the NOOR Eye Project can be made to InterServe. and sent to Connie Frisbee Houde, 22 Elm Street Albany, New York 12202. Please write NOOR Eye Project in the memo-line. Checks will be forwarded to the United States office.

5 Comments on “NOOR Eye Project

  1. pl add me to your email list to receive your regular reports

  2. Thank you for this record. Tom was killed serving in-country Aug 2010, helping others.

  3. This is a huge loss: for all of us. I am so sorry , especially for those that knew him personally and more – professionally. He was a gift. Connie, please express our sorrow to the family and return to us safely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: