Canada NewsWire; Calgary; June 8, 2006
Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones, launched a major fundraising campaign on June 8 in Calgary on behalf of Canada's Operation Eyesight, a leading international development agency dedicated to the prevention and treatment of blindness in the developing world.
The $15-million Sustaining Vision campaign will enable the development of sustainable eye care services in Africa and South Asia by constructing new eye hospitals, upgrading existing clinics, purchasing essential medical equipment and building community resources necessary for preserving and restoring sight.
"At least 75 per cent of blindness in the developing world is completely avoidable if adequate resources and services are in place," explains Ms. Pat Ferguson, President and C.E.O. of Operation Eyesight. "The best way to tackle this problem is by forming partnerships with local professionals and organisations who understand the issues and know how to address them, but who often lack the resources to make it happen. By empowering and supporting their work, we can create lasting solutions that will save sight and improve the quality of life for the world's poorest people -- now and in the future."
By focussing on local partnerships, by building the capacity of indigenous organisations and by helping them extend their community outreach programs, more people are served and more of their needs are met on an ongoing basis.
Funds from the Sustaining Vision campaign will be put to work in a wide variety of development projects throughout Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and other countries in the developing world. Through the investments of individual supporters and corporate donors, the campaign will work toward a world where avoidable blindness is a thing of the past.
For details: E-mail Lynn Leduc at; or write to Operation Eyesight Universal, 4 Parkdale Crescent N.W., Calgary, AB Canada, T2N 3T8. Website: