Tomorrow is World Water Day, and we’re overflowing with reasons to celebrate! Together, we’re saving sight and lives by providing clean water and eye health education to communities in Zambia!
Last year, a valued donor and friend to Operation Eyesight initiated a “Washing Away Blindness” campaign to bring fresh, clean water to communities in Zambia. Our Board Chair, Rob Ohlson, generously offered to match all donations made to the campaign in 2016.
Realizing the remarkable opportunity to double their donation and be part of a long-term solution to prevent blindness, those who were contacted tried to make the most generous gift they could. The result? An incredible $485,000 was raised!
These funds will be used to develop well programs in 24 of some of Zambia’s most vulnerable communities. By providing people with clean water for washing their hands and faces, we’ll help prevent the spread of trachoma, a bacterial eye infection which eventually leads to irreversible blindness.
Operation Eyesight is the only organization in all of Zambia implementing the full SAFE strategy to eliminate trachoma. SAFE was developed by the World Health Organization and stands for Surgery, Antibiotics, Face-washing and hygiene education, and Environmental improvement, including wells and boreholes.
Operation Eyesight’s well programs are so much more than simply drilling a hole in the ground. Establishing each well program includes identifying a viable location; drilling the borehole; analyzing the water quality; training and equipping local villagers as pump minders; monitoring and evaluating the program; mobilizing the community and building the capacity of the village water committee; distributing antibiotics; and educating the community on eye health and general health.
Each well developed through our “Washing Away Blindness” campaign will serve approximately 400 people, which means 9,600 people will receive access to safe, clean water – and each well will create a ripple effect for generations to come! Not only will the provision of fresh water and hygiene education help prevent blinding trachoma, but it will also provide other important benefits. (See the photos below for more information.)
We’d like to thank Rob and all of our donors for their incredible support. Thanks to you, we’re one step closer to washing away blindness in Zambia!
While our “Washing Away Blindness” campaign may be over, our work to fight blinding trachoma is ongoing. Please consider donating to our trachoma surgery program at operationeyesight.com/trachoma. Thank you for your support, and Happy World Water Day!