Thanks to you more children can see their future

An update from Olivia Patt, Orbis Communications Manager.

Listen to Olivia talking about her experience, or read her account below:

Earlier this year, I visited eastern Nepal to see the inception of our latest Orbis project which was funded through 2019’s See My Future appeal. Thanks to our incredible supporters, we raised £1.39 million – including matched funding from the government which went directly to Nepal.

In many parts of the world, avoidable sight loss means children are dropping out of school - either because their own eye health is poor, or to care for an adult with sight loss. The REACH initiative - Refractive Error Among Children - screens and treats children with sight loss, enabling them to continue to attend school and face a brighter future.

The team and I travelled through Lahan and Birgunj to observe several school screenings. We saw children tested for refractive error, pictured above, and other conditions. They then got to pick their own glasses and were taught how to use them correctly and keep them safe. A number of the children we spoke to hadn’t had their eyes tested before and didn’t know much about eye health; programmes like this are fundamental to getting children the eye care they deserve.

We also observed the first teacher training – a crucial element of the work. Equipping teachers to spot the first signs of sight loss can mean children receive help sooner.

But what did the children think? When we spoke to Sneha, pictured below, who had just been given her glasses, she told us she hadn’t been able to see the blackboard and had been forced to copy from her friends’ notebooks to keep up. She’s happy to have received her glasses, as they’ll help her see better – and hopefully help her achieve her dream of being a bank manager.

None of this would have been possible without your support. Thank you for helping children across Nepal see their future.

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