ORBIS Hong Kong

ORBIS Hong Kong was established in early 90s when a group of impassioned individuals who shared the dream of a world free from preventable blindness came together to raise public awareness about eye care issues. That same year, three high-profile supporters donated US$14 million to fund the purchase of a DC-10 airplane to replace their existing DC-8 Flying Eye Hospital. The biggest of these supporters was leading local businessman Mr. Y.C. Ho, who generously donated US$7 million of the DC-10’s cost. He and his fellow donors’ extraordinary kindness succeeded in instantly raising awareness about ORBIS’s presence in Hong Kong and its worldwide sight-saving work.

ORBIS Hong Kong contributes to the fight against global blindness in several different ways. While most of their work involves raising funds and building public awareness, they also invite local ophthalmologists and orthoptists as medical volunteers to travel all around the world in conducting training sessions, eye examinations and check-ups.

Over the years, the ORBIS Hong Kong Hong Kong office has promoted a variety of innovative fundraising and awareness-building campaigns via media channels such as television, newspaper and magazines. ORBIS Hong Kong’s specially appointed Sight Ambassadors support their mission by visiting ORBIS projects in the world’s poorest countries and endorsing ORBIS Hong Kong’s advocacy campaign through the sharing of their insights to the public.

Their Mission:
The ORBIS Hong Kong office devotes much of its effort to eradicate unnecessary blindness by raising funds for ORBIS sight-saving projects. This includes sending ophthalmologists to developing nations to conduct training sessions, eye exams and check-ups.

1. ORBIS medical volunteers: Medical volunteers are the backbone of ORBIS programmes. Ophthalmic specialists from all over the world give their time and energy to help eliminate avoidable blindness and restore sight. These volunteers, known as volunteer faculty, include ophthalmologists, orthoptists, biomedical engineers, anaesthetists and ophthalmic nurses.

Volunteer faculty share their expertise in a wide variety of ophthalmic specialties. Expertise is passed on to colleagues from the developing world by way of consultations, surgical demonstrations, wet lab sessions, lectures and workshops through either a Flying Eye Hospital visit or a hospital-based programme.

Volunteer placements last one to three weeks and can be either an individual or a team placement. Among the challenges is working in the limited space aboard the Flying Eye Hospital or in local settings using existing equipment.

2. Clerical work: help reduce overhead by helping out with paperwork, filing and data entry.

3. Fundraising Activities: Their annual raffle and mid-autumn charity sales require large teams of friendly, outgoing volunteers to help out during weekends and holidays.

4. Technical support: ORBIS regularly runs promotional campaigns requiring technical skills such as translation, photography, website design and filming.

For more information regarding ORBIS Hong Kong’s volunteer opportunities, please visit their website.

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