This post is from Kate Woodhead of Standard Chartered Bank, our 10GA Eye Health Investor
Launched in 2003, Seeing is Believing (SiB) is a collaboration between Standard Chartered, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and leading international eye health organisations.
Standard Chartered has committed to raise USD 100 million between 2003 and 2020 for SiB through fundraising and the Bank’s matching funds, to be invested in eye health projects that range from providing comprehensive eye-care in low and middle-income countries to building innovative eye health delivery solutions.
To help build eye health capacity in Africa, SiB is sponsoring 25 mid-level medical professionals from its projects in eight African countries to attend the 10GA. This is a fantastic opportunity for SiB to support front-line project eye health workers from different countries to share their experiences and best practice with one another, and to learn from the world-class eye health experts who will speak at the conference.
Joanice Mosha, one of the shortlisted candidates from Wake Forest in Tanzania says, “For me to attend the General Assembly in Durban will be useful. It will allow me to focus on sharing our experiences and challenges, to inspire, share innovations, celebrate success and even embarrass our neighbours”!
Attending the conference will allow Joanice and her colleagues to learn effective strategies for improving service provision in SiB projects, whilst earning Continual Professional Development points to enhance their career progression and confidence in their own professional abilities.
In order to make the difficult decision about which candidates to sponsor, Standard Chartered employee volunteers in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia interviewed applicants about their achievements and proposals for fighting avoidable blindness in their countries. The selection process was an amazing opportunity to engage staff with SiB through their employee volunteering days, and learn more about SiB projects in their country.
Christine Matambo (Head, Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing) one of the employee volunteers in Zambia shares, “My colleagues and I learnt more about the challenges that eye care workers face, particularly those in rural areas. We learnt about some of the cultural myths that continue to surround eye healthcare, and the challenges or barriers to accessing eye care health and proper diagnostics of eye problems in Zambia.”
Watch out for Part 2 of the story, where you hear from some of the delegates selected to attend the GA!
Photo: Orbis Zambia.