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Annie and Sonia   Image: Vision for the Poor, Haiti
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By Vanessa Richardson
Optometry Giving Sight

 

Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge is the largest global annual fundraising initiative to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error. It aims to raise funds to support sustainable eye-care projects in underserved communities around the world.

World Sight Day is on 8 October 2015 and this year’s call to action is ‘Eye Care For All’. Optometry Giving Sight has invited Australian practices and their staff, companies, optometry students and all members of the optical community to sign up and take the month-long challenge this October.

Taking the challenge can be as simple as making a donation or as involved as hosting a fundraising event.

Fitzroy North Eye Centre in Victoria raised much needed funds for Optometry Giving Sight with its month-long participation in last year’s challenge.

‘It was good fun,’ practice manager Maria Filleri said. ‘We had a lolly guessing competition which was a good talking point with the patients and it gave us a chance to talk about World Sight Day.’ The team members also donated eye examination fees and their own funds, and sold WSDC wristbands.

In addition to its gold level sponsorship, General Optical raised funds throughout the year in an extensive staff-led fundraising activity that culminated in a staff barbeque and celebration on World Sight Day.

‘Being part of the World Sight Day Challenge in the way we do has created a really great work place culture,’ managing director Jonathan Lewis said. ‘It is something we all feel passionate about and enjoy doing.’

Annie and Sonia are two of 1,500 children who benefited from a recent screening program in Cap Haitian, Haiti.

Poor vision had made it very difficult for them to see the teacher’s writing on the blackboard. They had astigmatism and were referred to the Vision Plus Clinic for a full examination and to obtain glasses.

Taking part in the challenge and raising funds during October means that more people like Annie and Sonia can benefit from eye-care programs funded by Optometry Giving Sight.

To donate or for more information on the 2015 World Sight Day Challenge, visit www.givingsight.org.

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