This October 11th marks World Sight Day, the annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired. This year we asked ORBIS staff members around the world to share their personal connections to vision, ORBIS and asked what sight they love the most. See what ORBIS staff members around the world had to say!
Why is sight important to you?
Sight and the eyes are truly the windows to the world. There are so many beautiful and amazing things to enjoy in the world. – ORBIS NY Staff Member
It always has been. I am a qualified Optometrist that has worked in the ngo environment -eye care sector for the last 17 odd years. I believe that while people who are blind or visually impaired can life a full and satisfying life, Sighted persons have more opportunities in life. I firmly believe in the principle that this world should not have people that are needlessly blind or visually impaired. Therefore everything that can be done should be done to prevent unnecessary loss of vision. - Reshmaa Dabideen, Senior Program Advisor, ORBIS Southern Africa
Because it allows me to experience beauty, to appreciate perspective, to focus in on the smallest of things, to live life with all of my senses.- Sarina Prabasi, Deputy Chief of Program
Sight is the window to the world. With good eye sight, we live in full color to enjoy the beauty of the world. - Venus Yeung, Communications Director, ORBIS Hong Kong
What is the sight you love most?
The way a mother looks at her daughter and smiles proudly, and then gives her a big hug. – ORBIS FEH Staff Member
ORBIS has a vast collection of beautiful images and portraits of people they have helped from all around the world. My favorites have to be those of patients seeing for the first time after surgery, the sheer joy and excitement on their faces! – Polly, Photo Library Volunteer, ORBIS EMEA
My favorite sight was the moment when I regained vision after a cataract surgery. That was the most precious and happiest moment of my life and I want to see as many people as I can see the sight of restored vision. - Muhammad Talal Javed, Intern
What is your favorite ORBIS story?
ORBIS nurse was once trained in ORBIS sight saving program in China. She then is very interested to help in ORBIS. Later, she went to Iran to work and study English to prepare her future work in ORBIS. Her dedication succeeded and became an ORBIS staff. – ORBIS Hong Kong Staff Member
In Perú and old lady after taking off her patch after cataract surgery she starts crying and after a big hug she tells me that this is the first time she has seen a plane and it is beautiful to be able to see it so clear!!! – ORBIS FEH Staff Member
My first program on the FEH and my first real experience of seeing the magic moment when a person goes from blind to seeing. It was a little boy called Blesjah (2ish years) who had had his cataracts removed. I'd met him before the operation as an introverted boy clinging to his obviously distressed dad. When his patches were removed he took a few moments to adjust to the light and the new sensations rushing through his little brain and then he just started laughing. His eyes followed the sparkling light toy the doctor tracked through his visual field. He then reach for the light with his right hand, again finding this hilarious. Shortly thereafter he realized he could grab it with his left hand too - he giggled and clapped his hands with delight. It was just so moving for me to see this little chap rush through so many developmental steps right in front of our eyes. The relief and joy of his father was wonderful. - Joni Watson, Business Development Manager, ORBIS Southern Africa
The story of a family of six in Pokhara, Nepal where five of the family members had cataracts including the infant. All five of them were operated upon in the Himalaya Eye Hospital, Pokhara to remove the blinding condition (cataract) and the life of the entire family changed after that intervention. What a life changing impact! – ORBIS India Staff Member
My favorite story is still in progress. It's the story of 26-year old Kevin Cabrera, a student and international call center employee in San Salvador. We met on Screening Day Week 1 of the ORBIS El Salvador FEH Program and became friends. I promised to be there for him before and after his surgery to comfort and encourage him. He received a cornea transplant in his right eye. We've been communicating via email, and his recovery is going well. His bandage is off and he feels more confident with himself now. He reports doing things he hasn't been able to do in a long long time: being able to drive again, help his nephew with his homework at night, and order from a restaurant menu by himself. - Valerie Broeske, Travel and Logistics Coordinator, ORBIS NY
Why did you join ORBIS?
It's because working with ORBIS is more than simply a job! It enlightens not only my life but to 39 million blind people - ORBIS Hong Kong Staff Member
Life holds so many beautiful and precious moments, each subject to the interpretation of the viewer. It's a privilege and blessing to be able to view life from my "personal" vantage point, subject to my very own interpretation, each and every day- and I don’t take this for granted. I joined ORBIS because I wanted an opportunity to help create millions of "unique and individual vantage points" for others, less fortunate. - Liz Agbor-Tabi, Sr. Manager Clinical Services
I came to learn about ORBIS through its Flying Eye Hospital. I had diplopia and I visited an ophthalmologist in Bangladesh and also planned to seek others. Finally one of the best ophthalmologists of Bangladesh diagnosed me with medial rectus palsy due to a virus or some other cause. While seeking his advice I thought I should write to the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital. However, I was cured completely and incidentally came to meet one of my [future] colleagues at ORBIS through that ophthalmologist. Now I am working with ORBIS. This was amazing. I am proud of taking the leadership of the country program and to do something for the people who need our world class quality care. - Munir Ahmed, Country Director, Bangladesh
I can see because I had access to the best ophthalmic treatment available. By working for ORBIS I can pay this blessing forward and help make quality eye care accessible for children in less fortunate communities across Africa - Nafisa Baboo Programme and Trusts Officer