Sightsavers is a UK based charity, with locations in over 30 countries, that has two main goals. First, is the prevention of avoidable blindness throughout some of the world’s poorest countries. Second, is to aid in the creation of an inclusive society where people with disabilities are able to participate equally. In order to achieve these goals, Sightsavers needs both funding and resources.
An example of the work Sightsavers conducts was seen in Malawi, where a man by the name of Winesi felt dead because of his blindness. He was supposed to support his family, however, because of his blindness, he was unable to do that. He felt lost, defeated, and alone. The reason for his blindness, cataracts. A member of the Sightsavers team contacted Winesi to see if there was anything that could be done to help him. It was determined that Winesi had mature cataracts. In order to receive his eyesight back, Winesi would need an operation. Through Sightsavers, Winesi was given the opportunity to have that surgery completed, allowing him to see again.
Recently, Penny Mordaunt, the UK Secretary of State, announced that the UK Aid Connect program will be donating £ 13 million in funding. The funding will be dedicated to helping create an inclusive society in developing countries like Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.
Over 6-years, Sightsavers will lead a team of organizations to find the best use of this funding. Some of the organizations included on this mission are the International Disability Alliance, the Institute of Development Studies, ADD International, Youth Career Initiative, and Inclusion UK. The goal of this funding, Sightsavers, the UK Aid Connect program, and all of the organizations involved is to provide programs that will help 100,000 people who have disabilities gain access to health care services, assist 10,000 children with disabilities receive an education, and help roughly 45,000 more people who have disabilities find ways to increase their income.
Sightsavers is honored to be able to lead this team. This funding will allow them to look at how they are able to impact these societies on a larger scale. Additionally, it will allow for the creation of new programs and approaches that will help these marginalized areas become more inclusive. Surely changing many people’s lives for the better.