Millions of people go blind every year, and millions more suffer poor vision, simply because of where they were born. Orbis thinks this is unacceptable.
Orbis is the result of a unique and lasting alliance forged between the medical and aviation industries. In the 1970s, leaders of these two industries came together to create the plan that led to the foundation of Orbis. They knew that the high costs of tuition, international travel and accommodations prevented most doctors and nurses in low-income countries from participating in overseas training programs. Even when they could afford to study abroad, their opportunity for direct clinical experience was limited because strict licensing laws often prevented them from performing surgery.
The solution was a mobile teaching hospital. With a fully equipped hospital on board an airplane, doctors trained in the latest ophthalmic techniques, including pediatric ophthalmology, could bring their surgical knowledge and skills to doctors in low-income countries through hands-on training and lectures. A grant from USAID and funds from private donors enabled Orbis to successfully convert a DC-8 plane into a fully functional teaching eye hospital. As replacement parts for the original DC-8 plane became more difficult and expensive to obtain, it became clear that a newer, larger aircraft was needed. In 1992, after a major fundraising appeal, Orbis purchased a wide-body DC-10 to replace the DC-8. Within two years, Orbis had converted the plane into an eye surgery hospital. Orbis’ inaugural mission was to Beijing, China.
As Orbis grew over the years, Orbis added hospital-based training programs and fellowships to our portfolio to provide additional skills-building opportunities for eye care professionals. In 1999, to build the capacity of local partners, Orbis created long-term country programs in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam – similar programs are also underway in parts of the Latin America and the Caribbean. Orbis permanent offices in these countries, run by local staff, develop and implement an array of multi-year projects to improve the quality and accessibility of eye care to residents, particularly in rural areas and impoverished urban communities. Many of these programs focus on the treatment and prevention of childhood blindness, cataract, trachoma and corneal disease.
Orbis set up an office in Hong Kong since 1985. Today, the office has a staff of some 45 whose main goal is to prevent blindness worldwide by raising funds and increasing awareness of eye health issues. Recent years have seen the office recruiting numerous local ophthalmologists to Orbis’s global sight-saving team. Their role is to visit developing countries where they teach their skills to local counterparts who then share their newfound abilities with their colleagues.
Volunteer with Orbis
Through voluntary services, your network, skills and resources can help expand Orbis’ community eye care work and spread the global blindness messages! It will all contribute to the eye health of Hong Kong people!
If you’ve got time to spare, participating in one of Orbis’ many volunteer experiences will add a sense of accomplishment to your positive energy! Take your pick of helping out with office clerical work, using your creativity to influence others on the internet, or reaching out to the community, etc!
ONE-TIME ACTIVITY VOLUNTEER: Support Orbis signature events such as Moonwalkers, Walk for Sight and Mid-autumn Festival charity sales!
COMMUNITY SERVICES: Help teach daily eye care knowledge and explain the main causes of serious eye diseases across all 18 districts!
INFLUENCER ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Help in photography, website design, film production, or simply keen to harness the power of social media!
OFFICE WORK: Help reduce running costs and free up funds for sight-saving by assisting with daily administrative tasks.
More information on volunteer opportunities and to register can be found here
For more enquiries, please call 2877 9373 or email email@example.com