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Sightsavers began its work in 1950, as the British Empire Society for the Blind. This organisation was created by Sir John Wilson, who suffered from blindness. While they hold branches in several countries around the world; they are based in the United Kingdom. Since its inception, the organisation has maintained its staunch stance on the research and treatment of preventative blindness.
Early on, it was discovered that most causes of blindness were either curable or preventable. Not to mention, the recognition of the fact that blindness put one lower on the economic scale. To this end, Sightsavers has endeavored not only to research new treatments and procedures but also to teach skills to those who are blind; that they may contribute to their communities.
In many developing countries, such as West Africa, a little black fly is causing a lot of grief. Children are going without educational benefits, as they must act as guides for the blind of their village. Imagine a town where the elderly are lead by the very young. If not for the generosity of one and the distribution of another, their plight would only have gotten worse.
In conjunction with Merck, Sightsavers is helping to distribute a little pill, that could end River Blindness. Bringing back villagers to their abandoned homes. Helping alleviate the poverty they were plunged into, as they left fertile farmland to escape the disease of the river. Merck offered the pill to all who needed it, for as long as they needed it.
They also recognized that these areas; in the sub-Saharan in Africa, are being hit the hardest from River Blindness and other preventable eye infections. Through the programs offered from Sightsavers, these communities can now have access to the eye care they have so long gone without.
Through their research efforts and partnerships, this organisation has been able to provide the eye care treatment and education around the world. This commitment to research, education and treatment has been a source of help to many. Not just to poor communities alone, but to all nations in which it shares it’s commitment.