See the Way appeal raises over £1.8m to save sight in the world’s poorest places

Posted on: Wednesday, 14th August, 2019
CBM staff and partners holding banners with 'See the Way', 'Thank You' and the UK Aid Match logo on.

Between 15th February and 14th May 2019, our generous supporters donated an amazing £845,000 to help people in the world’s poorest places See the Way to a brighter future – and every pound was then doubled by the UK government. This match funding, combined with Gift Aid, takes our appeal total to an incredible £1.8 million.

The funds raised will help people with sight problems access sight-saving surgery, glasses and support, enabling them to go to school, get around safely and support themselves and their families. Every day, people in the world’s poorest places become needlessly blind because of conditions that can be easily treated, like cataracts. And too often, if you live in a poor community, losing your sight also means losing the chance to go to school, live independently or earn a living. 

Match funding from the UK government will be used to deliver eye health services in rural Rwanda. Public donations will support CBM’s work preventing blindness and transforming lives wherever the need is greatest.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive for CBM UK, said:

“We’re so incredibly grateful to all the wonderful people around the country who have helped make this appeal such a success – through your fundraising activities, your prayers and your generous gifts. Just a few months ago, I met people in Rwanda who were facing a future of needless blindness because the nearest eye hospital was just too far away. But thanks to you, we’ll be able to deliver sight-saving treatment to tens of thousands of people like those I met in rural areas, helping to ensure that nobody loses their sight simply because they live in poverty.” 

International Development Minister Andrew Murrison said:

Improving access to eye health services for people living with cataracts and other sight problems in rural Rwanda not only reduces blindness and visual impairment, it helps people with sight problems to earn a living which boosts economic productivity. I am delighted the UK government has matched £844,684.85 to CBM’s See the Way appeal, helping to raise a total of £1,847,343.92. CBM’s work is making a significant and lasting difference.”

New sight-saving services for rural Rwanda

Worldwide, an incredible 3 out of 4 people who are blind don’t need to be. Match funding from the UK government will support a project starting in October 2019 to improve access to sight-saving eye health services for over 385,000 people in four rural districts of Rwanda – so people don’t have to travel across the country to access a specialist eye hospital.

We will:

  • Train and equip eye health workers to deliver sight-saving services at District Hospitals, including 2 ophthalmologists, 8 theatre nurses and 8 ophthalmic clinical officers.
  • Provide vital equipment to 4 District hospitals so they are better able to identify and treat conditions like glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Deliver cataract outreach camps, supporting eye surgeons and other specialists from CBM partner hospital Kabgayi Eye Unit, to travel to rural areas four times a year and carry out surgeries and other specialist services for people unable to travel to the eye hospital.

See the Way appeal – our highlights

We were overwhelmed by your support for our See the Way appeal – here are some of our highlights!

We were thrilled to be joined by supporters, volunteers and local business representatives in Cambridge as we celebrated the launch of our See the Way appeal with East African food and drumming!

Supporters at CBM's See the Way launch event in Cambridge

Daniel, 11, and Sofia, 9, from Wigan donated their savings of £101 after reading about children with cataracts and the match funding.

Young CBM supporters, Sofia and Daniel

Cambridge student Isabelle (right) teamed up with CBM volunteer Gill (left) to organise an evening of music, poetry and prose for St Patrick’s Day – her first ever fundraising event!

Gill and Isabelle at St Patrick's Day event

Jenni and Rob ran the extra mile for the appeal, completing the Cambridge half-marathon and raising over £1500 to help people See the Way to a brighter future.

Jenni and Rob at Cambridge Half Marathon

See the Way Partners

Several amazing organisations committed to support the appeal by spreading the word far and wide. A big thank you to:

Allia logo  Business Weekly logo  Cambridge Independent   Cambridge 105 Radio

Clamp Optometrists logoPJ Care logoPremier Christian Radio logoRealnet logo

St John's Innovation Centre logo     Trinity Hall Chapel logo

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