The Henry Wyndham Walk for ORBIS:
Establishing a Fund to Give the Gift of Sight

The Problem

A child in Ethiopia with a  potentially blinding trachoma infection39 million people are blind in the world today - most live in the developing world, where eye care services are unavailable or unaffordable.

Children and adults are going blind needlessly. On top of the huge personal loss, blindness also has an enormous economic impact on families, communities and countries.

Global Visual Impairment Stats

The ORBIS Solution

Najat leaving the Flying Eye HospitalORBIS provides the training and equipment needed to save-sight. World leading ophthalmic doctors and nurses volunteer their time to go to developing countries, either on our unique Flying Eye Hospital or directly to local hospitals to share skills and help provide the best possible eye-care to the communities most in need.

Establishing a Fund to Give the Gift of Sight

A fund has been established to raise money to stop tens of thousands, if possible hundreds of thousands, of adults and children from going blind over the next three years.

"The number of people we can help see is up to us.
I aim to raise as much as possible but should I raise £500,000, this will restore or save the sight of 50,000 people and £1 million will do the same for 100,000 people, £2 million for 200,000 and so on. The bottom line is that on average a mere £10 will save the sight of one person, through a comprehensive approach of providing surgery and glasses to those in need. Please give generously – I assure you that 100% of your donation will go towards sight restoration.
Thank You." - Henry Wyndham

"There are few occasions in life when an idea takes off and leads to achievement beyond our wildest expectations: when a mission is driven by a vision so clear that it literally enables others to see it too.
ORBIS is one of these.”

- Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General

The Need in Ethiopia

Trachoma is the main cause of blindness in Ethiopia. This highly infectious eye disease has been wiped out in the western world and is now known as ‘the disease of poverty’. Trachoma is spread by flies, poor sanitation and contact. As the infection develops over time it pulls the eyelid inwards (trichiasis) so that the eyelashes scratch the front of the eyeball with every blink . The result if left untreated is irreversible blindness.

In southern Ethiopia, it has been estimated that two out of every five children have trachoma, and approximately one in 20 adults have in-turned eyelashes.

Hundreds of thousands of people have already gone blind, and millions more are at risk. This infection has devastated the lives of many individuals, families and communities.

Since 2006 ORBIS has worked in southern Ethiopia training nurses to perform trichiasis surgeries, carrying out tens of thousands of sight-saving operations where they are needed most. But still thousands more people in the region need help.

In addition to those affected by trachoma, adults and children with cataracts will also be treated by ORBIS trained doctors and children who need spectacles will be given them. The result? Adults who were going blind are able to work and earn again, and children will attend school and learn once more.

The Need in India

There are 12 million blind people in India. 320,000 children under the age of 16 are blind (19% of the world’s blind children). There is a severe lack of eye care facilities equipped for children or trained paediatric ophthalmic professionals, in India. This puts the entire population of 400 million children at risk of a range of blinding conditions. 

Responding to this urgent need for increased ophthalmic services for children in India, ORBIS is undertaking an ambitious programme to establish 50 paediatric eye care centres throughout India by 2020. To date ORBIS has established 30 centres and is now working towards the 20 more that are needed to help tens of thousands of children get the eye care they desperately need.

Watch to see how Mamite's Life
was transformed by ORBIS' work in Ethiopia.