Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Natural Leader Who Has Shown A Will and A Way...We Thank You!

A great mission cannot be successful without a strong team leader! Our latest TWECS mission to the Philippines is indicative proof. The 13 team members ranging from ages 22 to 65, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas throughout Canada were led by Dr. Marina Roma-March. Although we were all different in so many ways we all shared a common goal of providing eye care to the poorest of the poor. Marina's dedication and passion for this cause kept team spirits high while enduring pressure to get as much accomplished in spite of extreme difficulties.

Mission 2012 was difficult in several ways. Severe working conditions at the Smokey Mountain clinic, just steps away from Manila's infamous garbage dumps were a tough challenge as we worked with patients living in extreme poverty. One of the first residents I registered reported her occupation as "scavenger", digging through piles of rubbish to find whatever piece of trash may prove to be of any value to trade for a crumb of food. Marina informed everyone on the team about the risk of foreigners coming to this area and made the safety of her team a priority. She worked closely with the vice-mayor's office to secure the aid of an amazing group of volunteers who became a key part to the mission's success.

In addition, throughout the mission, Marina continued her work on the dream of her and husband Derrick to establish a permanent sustainable clinic in Manila so her cause will go on after missions are over and so many people in need are left behind. This clinic has come a few steps closer as Marina continues to nourish relationships with like-minded fellow Filipinos.

This amazing woman, wife, mother of twins, running her own optometry clinic in Vancouver, has dedicated her life to the work of TWECS, the charity she and Derrick first began in 1995. Marina captured the highest respect from all team members and volunteers, new and old who accompanied her on this amazing journey showing that a leader can be humble, passionate and sincere during the most trying moments with her never ending energy.

Thank you Marina for being our leader and our friend, an invaluable combination.

Brenda Tosoff
TWECS Director / Team Member


  1. Thank you Brenda for your kind words. It was my privilege to work with a great hard working team. Thank you all again for joining this project.

  2. Hi, I was with Twecs in Nepal last month. It would be fun to compare notes on our experiences.