Visions of Zambia: Free portrait exhibition celebrates Orbis work

February 2018

To help raise awareness of childhood blindness, figurative artist Tim Benson has collaborated with Orbis to help share the stories of children and adults in Zambia with eye conditions such as cataracts and squints through painted portraits.

As inspiration for his artwork, the Vice President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters spent one week in Zambia, travelling to Kitwe Hospital Eye Annexe to meet many of the children who had sight-saving surgery and the health staff trained by Orbis medical volunteers.

The oil paintings from his trip are due to be showcased and on sale in the Mall Galleries 12-17 March 2018, with profits funding our life-changing projects. Admission to the exhibition is free and paintings from the catalogue are on sale now, [email protected] or +44 (0) 207 608 7279.

Visit the Visions of Zambia exhibition

Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world; approximately 78% of its rural population lives in poverty. Of these, an estimated 245,440 people are blind and visually impaired.

The WHO estimates there are approximately 1.4 million blind children worldwide, and that three-quarters of the world’s blind children live in low and middle-income countries.

With under 30 ophthalmologists in the whole of Zambia for a population of 17 million, (compared to over 3000 in the UK), there is a severe shortage of eye health professionals in the country. Child eye health workers are even more scarce - a factor in why children in Zambia are four times more likely to go blind than children in developed countries.

Hearing about the vital need in Zambia, Tim was inspired to help us tell the stories of the patients, families and traditional healers through his artistic talent.

Specialised paediatric services were virtually non-existent before we established Zambia’s first and only children’s eye care centre in 2011 at Kitwe Eye Annexe in the Copperbelt Province.

A big thank you to Tim for collaborating with us and helping to spread the word about childhood blindness across the world. 

EVERY MINUTE A CHILD WAITS FOR TREATMENT MEANS THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE BLIND FOR LIFE

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