Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) is calling on UK practitioners to ‘Make vision count’ by registering to support the charity’s World Sight Day campaign.
World Sight Day is an annual initiative that aims to raise awareness of blindness and vision impairment globally. This year it will be held on 12 October.
Highlighting that 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries such as Zambia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, VAO asks individuals, groups and companies to support the campaign.
Fundraising officer for VAO, Sarah Namusobya, told OT: “World Sight Day is the only international day of awareness and fundraising to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment that affects a staggering 640 million people worldwide.”
Practitioners can get involved in a number of ways. These include making a donation via its website, donating a fee for each pair of glasses sold or eye test performed throughout October, by selling VAO World Sight Day raffle tickets, or by joining the charity’s September Trek Fest team in the Peak District.
VAO hopes to raise at least £15,000 through the campaign, which will enable the charity to provide practical training and skills sharing sessions to local eye care workers in Ghana, Ethiopia and Zambia.
Ms Namusobya highlighted that getting involved is simple. “This year we have made getting involved in the campaign really hassle free for people as we appreciate how busy it can get for everyone,” she said. “Whether you choose to get involved by simply donating on our website or pledging to make a cash donation for every eye test carried out or spectacles sold in October. Whatever way you may choose to support the campaign, just know you will be helping to restore sight to some of Africa’s poorest and most isolated people.”
Independent practice, Lunettes Opticians, took part in the campaign last year. Speaking about how it raised funds, optometrist and managing director of the opticians, Tushar Majithia, shared: “Last year we took part in the campaign by donating £2 for every eye test carried out at our practice in October, and by encouraging primary school students to donate their used glasses towards VAO’s recycling scheme. Overall, we managed to raise £892 in just one month. We feel that the campaign was a really good way of raising awareness and income to support the work of VAO, whilst also highlighting the importance of good vision care in the community.”
To register to support the VAO’s World Sight Day campaign, visit its website.