Sightsavers kicked off the year by featuring in a high-profile report published in US business magazine Forbes about our work in Ghana. In 2018, Sightsavers and partners made history by helping Ghana become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma, paving the way for other countries to follow. Read the Forbes case study
Also in February, we launched our latest fundraising campaign. The End is in Sight will run for several years and aims to help banish trachoma in most of the countries in which we operate by 2025. Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper said: “Everyone who donates to the appeal could help us get one step closer to consigning this awful disease to history.”
Staff from Sightsavers’ online and design team hosted a workshop for graphic designers and creative professionals to promote inclusive design and accessibility. It welcomed guests from design agencies, charities and other organisations, and reinforced Sightsavers’ commitment to be as inclusive as possible. About the workshop
We also celebrated as two of Sightsavers’ films scooped high-profile prizes. Our film marking the one billionth treatment for NTDs won bronze in the Charity Film Awards, while in May a film highlighting Sightsavers’ work also won bronze in the Brand Film Festival Awards. Read about the Charity Film Awards and the Brand Film Festival Awards
The World Health Organization announced that trachoma rates worldwide have fallen by 91 per cent since 2002. WHO praised more than 100 organisations, including Sightsavers, that have worked together to tackle the disease, showing that it could be possible to eliminate trachoma for good within the next generation. Read the WHO news story
Sightsavers joined eye health organisations in New York for an event to promote inclusion and vision for all. Hosted by the UN’s Friends of Vision, it featured contributions from Sightsavers Pakistan country director Munazza Gillani and UN representatives. It was organised by Clearly, Sightsavers, the IAPB and the Mission of Antigua and Barbuda.
An area of Nigeria that was once rife with river blindness was found to be free from the disease. More than 4.2 million people are now protected against river blindness in Plateau, Nasarawa and Kaduna states, and no new cases have been found in the region, bringing the disease one step closer to being eliminated completely. Read the news story
On World Sight Day (10 October), the World Health Organization unveiled new figures showing at least a billion people have impaired vision that either could have been prevented or is treatable. WHO’s World Report on Vision said the figures are likely to rise dramatically because of the world’s ageing population. Read the WHO story
Our interactive BLINK photo exhibition took place at London’s [email protected], on the South Bank, to raise awareness of the End is in Sight campaign to fight trachoma. As visitors viewed the digital photos, every blink they made caused the images to change, leaving the photos permanently altered. The results were an artistic interpretation of the vision loss that trachoma can cause. More on the BLINK exhibition
Sightsavers’ Social Inclusion Working Group welcomed lunchtime speaker Lee Spencer to talk to staff about his experiences. Single-leg amputee Lee is the first physically disabled person to have rowed solo across the Atlantic, smashing the able-bodied world record by more than a month. His goal was to show that no one should defined by their disability. More about Lee
2020 promises to be busier than ever for Sightsavers as we continue our groundbreaking work. On 5 January we celebrate our 70th birthday, marking seven decades since Sir John Wilson founded the British Empire Society for the Blind (the original name of Sightsavers). Keep an eye on social media to find out how we’ll be celebrating! Our history
Sightsavers has partnered with the Fred Hollows Foundation and PlenOptika to pilot a new vision care strategy that aims to revolutionise eye care worldwide.
Sightsavers began working in Kenya in 1952, when blindness affected up to 7% of rural Kenyans.
Sightsavers has been awarded $16.9 million to continue and expand its deworming work, after a funding recommendation from US charity evaluator GiveWell.