DONATE
Sightsavers blog

A day campaigning at Big John’s Mela

Sightsavers, September 2016
Two Lord Mayors and two Sightsavers volunteers standing together in front of a Sightsavers stall.

“Lots of people wanted to sign up, including families who had a child with a disability”

On Sunday 31 July, two of our campaign volunteers, Alicia O’Brien and Prithpal Singh Rathore, hosted a stand at Big John’s Birmingham Mela.

This annual event is attended by thousands of people to celebrate the diversity of the South Asian community in Birmingham. Before the event, Alicia and Prithpal had both been active volunteer speakers for Sightsavers, but this was the first time they had campaigned for our Put Us in the Picture campaign at a community event. They were able to sign up well over 100 people to the campaign; a fantastic achievement.

Here’s Alicia’s account of the event.

“We arrived at Cannon Hill Park at 10am to set up the stand with the banners, posters and leaflets for an 11am start. The stand was well placed somewhere in the middle of the buzz and goings on of the Mela and with our stall placed on the corner, we could catch people from two directions.

“A few people who were already Sightsavers donors came up to the stand but we hardly sat down on the chairs that Prithpal brought along as we had to go out to catch the ‘punters’.

“When talking to people, we found it really helped when we mentioned that Sightsavers worked in South Asian countries as many of the people who attended had connections one way or another with the region. Lots of people wanted to sign up: women with their children, families who had a child with a disability and even lots of children themselves wanted to sign up too.

“We got one or two people to sign up for every five we approached and in total we got well over 100 to join the campaign, including the Lord Mayors for Birmingham and Dudley. Whether people signed up or not, we gave out leaflets to everyone we spoke to. We left at 6.30pm, somewhat hoarse and tired, but we’d certainly do it again next year!”

If this sounds like something you would like to do, or you know of a large community event in your area that you would like to campaign at, contact our campaigns team ([email protected]) for a chat.

Find out more about our Put Us in the Picture campaign and sign up! 

Want to read more about our work?

Sightsavers and disability rights
Nanny Powers stands in the street holding her voting card.
Sightsavers blog

A battle to reach the ballot box: Cameroon’s growing disability movement

As Cameroon prepares for its general election, Sightsavers Country Director Joseph Oye explains why he hopes more people with disabilities will vote.

Joseph Oye, October 2018
Nine year old Sonali smiles to camera
Sightsavers blog

We’re making huge progress on avoidable blindness, but we still have work to do

Sightsavers’ Charity Dandak reflects on our achievements through the Seeing is Believing programme, and highlights the challenges we still face to tackle avoidable blindness.

Charity Dandak, October 2018
Two smiling children from the Yendi district in Ghana wave their hands in the air.
Sightsavers blog

What we’ve learned from trachoma elimination in Ghana

Sarah Bartlett discusses Sightsavers’ involvement in this milestone, what we’ve learned from the experience and the work that lies ahead.

Sarah Bartlett, September 2018