Reflections on volunteering in a pandemic | Orbis

Reflections on volunteering in a pandemic

As a theatre practitioner nurse, for 18 years Ann-Marie Ablett has been an Orbis volunteer, using her annual leave to train hundreds of nurses around the world in the fight against avoidable blindness.

Although the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is not travelling, our mission continues, with all training taking place online. Ann-Marie’s virtual nursing training saw nurses from low-to-middle income countries learn about the use of PPE and how to best manage the psychological effects of coronavirus. Ann-Marie says, “What I have learned is we were all frightened, and it’s alright to be frightened because this is so real and it’s something we had never experienced before.” She adds, “What the training revealed is speak to somebody as another person will have the same problem, the same issues.”

Thanks to supporters like you and volunteers like Ann-Marie, the Flying Eye Hospital has been able to reach so many people. Looking back on what the feeling is like when returning from a trip she says, “I’ve helped make a difference and it makes a difference for generations to come. When you consider how many people Orbis has supported in many countries over the past 40 years or so, it’s just breathtaking. I think - I’ve been a part of all of that.”

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