sightsavers news Autumn 2008 www.sightsavers.org | Registered charity numbers 207544 & SC038110 Friends of the eye ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Disability goals | Changing lives in India | A good read in Sri Lanka sightsavers Welcome news W elcome to autumn Sightsavers News. One of the greatest challenges AUTUMN 2008 Sightsavers faces in carrying out our work in the developing world is the UK Headquarters huge shortfall of medical staff, particularly in africa where, on average, Sightsavers international there is only one ophthalmologist for every million people. throughout the grosvenor hall gambia, Nyateros (literally ‘friends of the eye’) are giving up their free time to bring Bolnore road eye care to their communities, bridging the gap between the health service and the haywards heath largely isolated rural population. as you can ﬁnd out on pages 3-5, they are having a west Sussex rh16 4BX huge impact on the eye health of their fellow villagers, and are making inroads in Tel 01444 446600 promoting the SaFe strategy to reduce trachoma. Fax 01444 446688 ‘turning a blind eye’ on pages 8-9 asks why world leaders haven’t included Email firstname.lastname@example.org disabled people in their plans to meet the Millennium Development goals. without including disabled people – who make up one-ﬁfth of the world’s UK Community Fundraising poorest people – they will remain poor and disadvantaged and the goals will Sightsavers international never be reached. During the summer we’ve been running a campaign to get our Community Fundraising Ofﬁce supporters involved by asking gordon Brown to consider disabled people in future PO Box 208 planning. thanks to all who participated in this. Clevedon we’re always interested to hear your feedback on Sightsavers News, your responses Somerset BS21 7NF to any of our stories, suggestions etc. So please do get in touch with me, at the Tel and fax 01275 349881 address to the right or by email at email@example.com with your thoughts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org thanks for supporting Sightsavers and helping us to make a difference. Scotland Sightsavers international Scotland 8a randolph Crescent edinburgh eh3 7th Julie Wilton, Editor Tel 0131 625 0008 Fax 0131 220 4191 IN THIS ISSUE About Sightsavers Sightsavers is the country’s leading 3 The Gambia Community volunteers help prevent trachoma charity combating blindness in the developing world. Sightsavers’ vision is of a world where no-one is needlessly blind. 6 Update Sightsavers stories from home and abroad we work with partner organisations in poor and the least-served communities to help establish and support permanent activities that Campaign 8 prevent and cure blindness, restore why is disability excluded from world leaders’ Front cover: Nyatero Jebel touray out in the community by Jenny Matthews/Sightsavers sight and provide help for people Millennium Development goals? who will never see. A few words with... Donation hotline 10 Sri Lankan librarian Senaderage Dona Chandrika 0800 089 20 20 (24 hours) Website www.sightsavers.org India 11 how cataract sugery has helped four people get back on track registered charity numbers 207544 & SC038110 Jenny Matthews/Sightsavers Sightsavers International is also known as 12 The Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind Saving sight how you can support Sightsavers Printed on 100% recycled paper. 2 SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 That’s what THE GAMBIA friends are for The creation of a new eye care worker role in The Gambia is proving to be a real success story in stamping out the painful eye infection trachoma. T he Nyatero (literally ‘friend of the eye’) is a community-based eye care worker responsible for the eye health of 250 people within their local area. trained in primary eye care and given basic tools, they liaise between the health services and the community, carrying out eye screenings and basic eye care, and referring more complex cases. the gambia suffers from a severe shortage of health care workers, with only four doctors to every 100,000 people, among the lowest in africa. Nyateros have helped bridge the gap between the community and available health services, carrying out some of the more basic eye care work, freeing up nurses to concentrate on the more complicated cases, and thus allowing the doctors to work on even more complex cases. the role was trialled in 2006 and has now been rolled out nationwide, with great success. Chosen by their local community, Nyateros give up their own free time, often after working long days on their farms, to provide eye care for their fellow villagers. alagie touray, from Kafuta village, explains his motivation for being a Nyatero: “i love being useful for the community i live with and helping people to prevent eye diseases. it’s like a way to carry out my prayers in daily life.” Please turn over ➤ Alagie Touray checks a young person’s sight SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 3 THE GAMBIA Continued How Nyateros are helping the Surgery community to stay safe S For someone about to have eye surgery, Binta (pictured left) looks remarkably calm. her son, Njujareh Fofana, the local Nyatero, has obviously prepared her well for eyelid surgery. Binta, 55, had suffered from frequent trachoma infections in her life, and recently developed trichiasis. her sight has been deteriorating rapidly, and she’s had terrible pain every time she blinks. She says: “i keep taking the lashes out but they come back and it’s no good.” Binta has also suffered from terrible headaches, which means she has had to spend days lying down and has been unable to care for her grandson. at a village eye screening, coordinated by her son, her problem was diagnosed, and ophthalmic nurse Mustapha Jagne arranged to come back to perform surgery in Binta’s house. During surgery Binta remains relaxed and her only concern is that she’ll wake her grandson sleeping in the next room. Njujareh says: “it’s great that people can have surgery at home because many are too frightened to go to hospital. also, few people have access to transport so it’s very difﬁcult to get to hospital.” Mustapha ﬁnishes the surgery in just 30 minutes, and a happy and relieved Binta greets the small crowd of people who have gathered outside her house. Binta stays relaxed during her eyelid surgery all pictures Jenny Matthews/Sightsavers 4 SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 TRACHOMA FACT FILE THE GAMBIA FACT FILE AFRICA trachoma is a disease of poverty, affecting mainly women and children. Population 1,593,959 (UK 60,018,293) trachoma causes trichiasis, where the infected eyelid turns inward, The Gambia Land area 11,300 sq km (UK 242,910 sq km) scratching the cornea and leading to blindness. Sightsavers supports the world health Organization’s SaFe strategy to combat trachoma. Life expectancy 58 years (UK 79 years) Antibiotics A it’s a busy afternoon in Sabah Nigeu village. it’s eye screening day, and many people have turned up to have their eyes checked. the one well for the village is nearly 50 metres deep, and the scarcity of water makes it difﬁcult for people to keep up with face and handwashing, so many villagers are suffering from trachoma. the past few weeks Nyatero Babu Ceesay has worked hard encouraging the villagers to come along to the screening. at 54, Babu has been a Nyatero for the past two years. he says: “Being a Nyatero is a constant part of my daily life.” every day he wakes up early in the morning and goes to the health post to see people before starting work in the ﬁelds. he returns to the post after lunch and again after work, as well as setting aside time Babu with once a week to visit people who can’t get to local children the post. “it’s a challenging and demanding role,” he says, “but i like to give back to the community. i want to sensitise the people about eye care, especially with regard to our most important asset – the children.” Babu runs the screening session with ophthalmic nurse Mustapha Jagne. villagers identiﬁed with trachoma are measured (pictured above) and given the correct dosage of azithromycin, while those with trichiasis will be booked in for eyelid surgery, which Mustapha will return to perform. Face and handwashing and Environmental hygiene FE Challa, a cluster of two villages, is Villagers team up to sweep testament to the importance of the their environment clean Nyatero role, and the commitment of the community itself in making the SaFe strategy a success. the Nyateros educate the villagers about face and hand washing, and organise regular screenings and treatment for trachoma, while a village committee shows people how to maintain a clean environment, ensuring each household keeps their house and garden clean. the villages, which Sightsavers provided with sanitary kits, rakes and a wheelbarrow, also get together for monthly village clean-ups. village chief alhagi gai says: “trachoma used to be a huge problem and many elderly people were blinded by trichiasis. we ﬁrst heard about the SaFe strategy ten years ago and since then people’s health has improved hugely.” SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 5 Update Teaming up with New Star Sightsavers has robert Perry/Scotland on Sunday/Sightsavers All the latest from around the world teamed up with asset management company New Star to launch an innovative scheme that aims to generate donations for our work in africa through investments in africa’s emerging markets. By increasing funding for after decades of our work in Africa, we can political unrest and reach more people like economic instability in Gracia Luvina from Tanzania, africa there are signs who is washing her face to prevent trachoma. that the economic opportunities there are changing. this has led to increased interest from investors and in 2007 New Star launched the heart of africa Fund, which invests in sub-Saharan african companies. there are many reasons why africa’s economy is changing, such as the increasing demand from asia for natural resources, improvements in infrastructure, increased political stability and a The need for skills reduced debt burden. Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and ghana are some of the key beneﬁciaries of the increased demand for resources. to raise an income for our work, New Star will in Pakistan be donating a percentage of the management fees generated by investors who invest in the fund by completing a special Sightsavers application form. a recent study has shown that in Pakistan the commonest form Above it is hoped that this will build a new income stream of visual impairment is refractive error – something which can Hashim for Sightsavers, helping us to reach even more Ali Khan usually be corrected with a pair of glasses. the research, led by people living with or at risk of blindness. conducts Sightsavers, showed that 3.7per cent of the population have an eye to receive an information pack please email refractive error, and this ﬁgure goes up every decade when examination your name, address and phone number to someone reaches the age of 30. email@example.com, or please call Over six million people are examined for refractive errors 0844 870 0401. in Pakistan every year, and more than two million pairs of spectacles dispensed. however this doesn’t meet the needs of the population, and Sightsavers is working with partners to provide Specs Appeal success greater training and deployment of optometrists and to help to highlight that 153 million people in the world are visually establish training programmes for opticians. impaired and in need of glasses Sightsavers launched Specs appeal Sightsavers supports a number of training programmes in Pakistan, this summer. More than 20 celebrities kindly donated their old including the human resource Development Programme run by glasses to us and we auctioned them off on eBay, raising £4,257. our partner the College of Ophthalmology and allied vision george Michael’s Chanel glasses sold for an amazing £2,650 while Sciences (COavS) in Lahore in Punjab Province. hashim ali Khan is ewan Mcgregor’s came in second with a winning bid of £480. a second year student of the BSC vision Sciences course at COavS. Sightsavers can provide glasses for as little as £1.50 so the he is from gilgit, in the mountainous northern areas of Pakistan, money raised could buy over 2,800 pairs of Jamshyd Masud/Sightsavers where there is only one hospital with optometry facilities. specs for people it was the lack of eye services in his area that made hashim in developing decide to pursue a career in optometry. he will have to go abroad countries who if he wants to specialise further, which he hopes to do, to help need them. provide a better service for the people of his home town. 6 SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 Making a splash June 15 saw the fantastic spectacle of the The athletes 6th Dragon Boat Festival at the Baltic wharf pose before competing in Bristol. the event is organised annually by the rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast and this year Sightsavers was the chosen lead charity. Relaying advice around 30 boats with crews of 17 people battled it out. each boat rowed to the beat of their own drummer, helping the oarspeople to in Zambia two teams of blind athletes took part in one of the country’s major sporting keep in time on events, the annual intercompany relay, in June, with the support of Sightsavers, each boat. the the Paralympics committee and corporate partner Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). Bt global team Blind runners competed against both each other and sighted people in the event. (pictured right) Sightsavers and SCB set up a tent to showcase our work, which quickly David Byard raised funds for became packed with people taking up the offer of free eye screening and advice Sightsavers. on eye care by the ophthalmic teams on hand. Fred Sekeletu/Sightsavers “the day provided a platform for encouraging ﬁtness and good eye health,” said Sightsavers country representative Joseph Munsanje. “it was also excellent to see blind athletes interacting with a range of other athletes at a national level in a sporting and fun environment.” Picture shows if you’re in London over the next few months, do stop in and see our our art and photography Sight in a gift box exhibitions. winning paintings from the national Junior Painter competition, featuring what 4-11 year Sightsavers is pleased to be chosen as the olds painted as ‘the sight i would most like to see’, charity beneﬁting from this year’s Boots will be on display at the royal academy of arts Opticians Christmas gift experience box. the from 22 November 2008 to 16 February 2009. new ‘gift of sight’ gift box will include an eye test voucher, a £25 gift voucher to i:click, a photographic celebration of the spend at Boots Opticians and a 2 for 1 voucher for Odeon Cinemas. For every gift senses, will showcase the winning entries of box that is purchased Boots Opticians will donate £1 to Sightsavers. the box will be this competition for 11-18 year olds at sold throughout all of Boots Opticians stores, so look out for this fantastic gift for the.gallery@oxo on the South Bank in London one of your friends or family this Christmas! from 22 October – 26 October 2008. North Leverton School take part in i:care day Peak achievement in late June, 13 intrepid teams took part in the rotary Mountain Challenge. they set out to climb three UK summits each over 3,000ft – Stob Ban in Scotland, helvellyn in the Lake District and Snowdon in North wales. Challenge enough to reach the three summits, but the aim was to complete all the ascents within 24 hours. and then there was the weather! the rotary Club of tonbridge (pictured below) Bright and kites for sight stole victory, raising over £13,000 in the process, and braving a mixture of torrential rain, strong rotary Club of tonbridge wind and eventually glorious sunshine. On 20 June, 9,000 children from around the country took part in i:care day, a new the entire event raised a staggering £100,000 event developed by our schools team to help educate children about eye care and for Sightsavers. blindness around the world, while having fun both in and outside the classroom. Fresh-faced and ready to climb... Photo courtesy of the retford times New materials were produced to use on the day including a brand new teaching resource and a fun eye care activity pack for pupils. Schools organised www.thisisretford.co.uk a range of fun events on the day, including wearing ‘Bright for Sight’ and ﬂying kites for sight! if you would like to order the fun packs for your children or know any teachers who might like to receive our new teaching materials then get in touch. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01444 446727. SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 7 CAMPAIGN Turning a blind eye In 2000 world leaders set themselves the challenge of tackling “visually impaired people aren’t currently enjoying social inclusion at all; even church global poverty with eight goals, known as the Millennium hymn books are not in Braille which Development Goals. Yet their plans exclude one of the poorest makes people feel socially segregated.” groups of people – those with a disability such as blindness. edwin, who is blind, overcame the S challenges he faced and studied a ightsavers’ partners know it is vital access to school and health care, and few Bachelor of education at university. with to ensure disabled people are not opportunities to make a living. support from Sightsavers’ partner the missed out of the ﬁght against “there are still many barriers to full Kenya Society for the Blind, he now helps poverty. every day, they meet and participation in society for disabled other blind and visually impaired people support people who are blind or visually people,” says edwin Osundwa, head of to ﬁnd employment. impaired struggling to survive due to the rehabilitation at the Centre of adaptive barriers they face –discrimination, limited technology, Kenya. Missed out Our local partners achieve a lot with their work, yet for long-lasting change to “There are still happen on a global level government need to play their part. that’s why we launched many barriers to full our recent ‘Missing’ campaign – aimed at participation in society ensuring disabled people are included in all future plans to meet the Millennium for disabled people” Development goals (MDgs). the campaign was timed to coincide with a high-level UN meeting attended georgina Cranston/Sightsavers get blind people into In Edwin Osundwa’s job he tries to choice of training courses Sebastian Lumbwe, six years old, lives employment. He says: “The limited ired people to ﬁnd work.” Congolese border. Sebastian and his with his mother, makes it difﬁcult for visually impa mother Cecelia does not accept children who are blind. 8 SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 by gordon Brown at the end of September. the meeting focused on revitalising efforts to meet the MDgs and we asked the Prime Minister to take a strong message to other world leaders to ensure that disabled people are represented. we had a fantastic response, with well over 1,000 supporters sending postcards to gordon Brown, so thank you very much. we’ll let you know the results of your campaigning as soon as possible. Find out more if you’d like to ﬁnd out more about our Missing campaign, or sign up to become a Sightsavers campaigner visit www.sightsavers.org/missing or email email@example.com, tel 01444 446681. DISABILITY POVERTY – THE FACTS • One in ﬁve of the world’s poorest people has a disability. • a third of all children out of school have a disability. • together, poverty and disability create a vicious circle. those with a disability are more likely to be poor, and poor people are more likely to become disabled. • without including disabled people in plans to achieve the Millennium Development goals, they will remain poor and disadvantaged and the goals will never be reached. Angeline Akai from Kenya qualiﬁed as a teacher. How, who is blind, recently been able to ﬁnd a job. “It’s ever, Angeline has not a teaching job, and up agai very competitive to get very difﬁcult. Jobs are mainst sighted people it’s only. So that by the time I renly advertised in print advert it is always past the alise that there is an too late to apply.” closing deadline and three brothers and grandmother in Mukambo, Zambia, near the both desperately want him to go to school, but the local school Kerstin hacker/Sightsavers georgina Cranston/Sightsavers SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 9 A FEW WORDS WITH... Senaderage Dona Chandrika Librarian at the Sri Lanka Council for the Blind in Colombo Above The Braille library serves many schools, universities and private members Left Senaderage uses a PC to record a talking book books will be made and i am responsible for binding, labelling and cataloguing them, and distributing to schools. the best part of my job is travelling to the schools and giving out the books, and seeing the children happy when they home and convert them into Braille. Once touch them. i love being able to meet they have been transcribed, i pass these the requests of blind school children I live with my husband (who is blind) on to a team of proof readers for editing, for additional books, and seeing these 22 kilometres outside Colombo. and a master copy is produced, which children getting really good exam results it takes me an hour and a half to stays at the library. Four copies of the because of them. get to work. i work in the Braille library, which provides Braille and audio materials, like talking books, to schools and universities. the materials The library’s collection are distributed on a rotational basis to includes an extensive 13 schools and four universities, in 13 range of audio books districts all over the country, including the north and east, where the civil war is going on. the majority of the books are school textbooks in core subjects for ﬁve to 17 year olds. People can also join the library as private members. Library membership is open to anyone who is blind or visually impaired, and there are currently 140 members. they can borrow Braille books Sarah Muddle/Sightsavers (4) for up to a month. My main responsibility is to choose and purchase books to transcribe into Braille. the printed versions of the books are given to readers and writers, who take them 10 SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 INDIA Musharif Ahmad, nine i started school when i was six, but seeing the blackboard was a big problem for me and i couldn’t concentrate. i couldn’t play with children my age, which made me sad. after surgery the ﬁrst thing i saw was my father. Now i can play outdoor games with friends, in school i am doing well. i can help my father on the farm. Back on track Four people talk about how their lives were radically changed by cataract surgery at Modinagar hospital in Uttar Pradesh, India Papender Singh, 35 Santosh Devi, 38 when my eyesight got worse it was i started ﬁnding it difﬁcult to put difﬁcult to manage the shop, and my the thread into the needle while eight-year-old nephew had to help me stitching. instead of supporting Anuj Kumar, 10 out, so he couldn’t go to school. People the family i became a burden on i started staying at home from school, and couldn’t stopped coming to the shop, and we them. i couldn’t make food for play with the other children. i was terriﬁed before became very poor. at 30 losing your over a year. i was so worried about the operation but the nurses were so nice that i sight can’t be described in words. going blind i even thought about Stuart Freedman/Sightsavers (4) felt less worried. i would not describe it as an operation taking poison. after the operation i was surprised i could see – the doctor is performing magic. when when the bandages came off so clearly. From darkness i can now do everything the bandage was removed i couldn’t i ﬁrst saw my husband standing easily. i play with my younger brothers and sister stop my tears as i counted the ﬁngers close to me. i wanted to return to and also guide them, as the oldest. Now i want to my daughter held up. Now i can run my my home as soon as possible to be an eye doctor. shop and support my family again. see all of my family. SightSaverS NewS | aUtUMN 2008 11 Ways to support Give the Gift This autumn, ensure that your of Sight this family is provided for and help Christmas people in need around the world. The Sightsavers’ gift list Making a Will is straightforward, simple is a great opportunity to and the only sure way of protecting your buy your friends and loved ones a fantastic present this Christmas. family’s future. If you need to make a Will or update your existing one, please Shop online and choose from a wider range of gifts. With each do it through Will Aid this November. gift order we’ll send you a card and certificate for you to give to your friend or loved one. If you order online you can Will Aid puts you in touch with solicitors who will draw up a personalise your card and we’ll send it to your special someone basic Will for you free of charge during November. Instead of direct. Your gift could have a huge impact on someone’s life paying the usual fee, you can make a voluntary donation to in the developing world. the participating charities – including Sightsavers. You will not only gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you've Visit www.giftofsight.co.uk provided properly for your loved ones, but your donation will also help to transform the lives of children, families and See the world with Travel A La Carte elderly people around the world. You can see more of the Since its launch in 1988, Will Aid has raised nearly £7 million world and help raise in donations. To find out more, and to find a participating TRAVEL à la carte.com money for our work by solicitor close to you, please visit www.willaid.org booking your holiday through www.TravelALaCarte.com or by calling them on 01444 410555 and quoting special Sign up to our enewsletter code: VISION. Each time you book a specially selected holiday, Get the latest news from Sightsavers straight to your inbox a donation of 3% will be made to Sightsavers. What’s more, with our monthly enewsletter. by choosing a selected hotel through sister company www.hotelanywhere.co.uk 5% will go to Sightsavers. To sign up simply text Go on, treat yourself! ENEWS and your email address to 84880. To donate visit www.sightsavers.org call 01444 446710 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 5pm) or fill in the coupon below. Title Initials Surname REGULAR GIFT Registered charity numbers 207544 and SC038110 Address To: The Manager Bank/Building Society Postcode Address If you would like to receive our e-newsletter please fill in your address below. Postcode e-mail (please print) AN08NL Bank sort code - - SINGLE GIFT Please pay Sightsavers International: £ I would like to give a donation of £ PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH. Monthly Quarterly Annually (tick appropriate box) Please make cheque/postal order payable to Sightsavers International. Starting on (day) (month) (year) Or debit my: MasterCard Amex Visa Maestro CAF Until further notice from Account No. (Maestro only) Card Name of account holder(s) No. Signature(s) Date / / Start Date Expiry Date Issue No. Card Security The last 3 numbers (or the last 4 on an Amex card) Please Note: Do not send your Standing Order direct to your Bank or Building Society. Code (CSC) on the signature strip on the reverse of your card. Sightsavers International will forward it when we complete the administration of your gift. FOR OFFICE USE ONLY: / / TO THE BANK: Please pay HSBC, Haywards Heath, Bank Sort Code 40-23-27. Signed Date Account No. 91070924 for the credit of Sightsavers International. Quoting Bank reference: Name on card Please send to: Sightsavers International, FREEPOST SEA4079, Haywards Heath RH16 4BR.
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