He’s been promoting our A Million Miracles appeal as part of a new partnership that will see Virgin help deliver thousands of life-changing surgeries.
In his blog on the Virgin website, Branson wrote: “I’m proud that Virgin Unite is supporting Sightsavers to help fund their efforts to restore sight to people by providing one million cataract operations by 2018. I have seen the impact that people regaining their hearing can have, after helping the Starkey Hearing Foundation to fit hearing aids on many occasions. It is the most remarkable experience to see the instant life-changing impact being able to hear for the first time can have. Being able to see again, or for the first time, would be equally transformative.”
Sightsavers CEO Dr Caroline Harper said: “We are over the moon to be able to announce this partnership with Virgin Unite. Their support will help blind people in Tanzania and Bangladesh to see again. Cataract surgery is incredibly cost-effective and a straightforward operation can transform the lives of people and their families, literally overnight. I know what it can mean for someone to see their grandchild for the first time or for a mother to find out that her child will not be blind after all, as the problem can be cured. I was thrilled when I heard Richard Branson felt as strongly about this as I do and wanted to help. We look forward to working with Virgin Unite into the future – we believe it is unjust for people to live with blindness if it can easily be treated.”
The partnership between Sightsavers and Virgin Unite, Virgin Group’s not-for-profit foundation, will see Virgin Unite support A Million Miracles with funding of £133,000 to provide cataract surgeries in Tanzania and Bangladesh over the next three years.
The weekly programme, called ‘Shopno Dekhe Chokh’ (‘Eyes See the Dream’), tells the stories of people whose vision has been restored in Bangladesh.
Including news from India, where women with disabilities took part in a running event to raise awareness of women’s health.
During a recent trip to Bangladesh, we filmed a time-lapse video of a Sightsavers cataract operation taking place at Khulna BNSB hospital.