Founder of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Professor Fred Hollows once said: “Good eye service is the right of everybody, not just the wealthy who can afford it.” This is what has guided the work of the Hong Kong office in the past year.
More than 32.4 million people are blind worldwide but 4 out of 5 people who are blind don’t have to be. About 30% of the world’s blind people are in Asia with 20% in China. The Foundation set up an office in Hong Kong in late 2015 so to better help the needlessly blind in the region.
With support from the public and our corporate partners, we have achieved significant milestones in the past year. To celebrate our first year in Hong Kong, there are some special moments we want to look back on:
1. Launch of new projects in China
Three new projects were launched in Yunnan, Anhui and Hebei, China which will help more than 100,000 people. Through training doctors, providing the much-needed medical facilities, screening and awareness raising programs, we aim to build a local medical team which is accessible to the community.
2. Kayaking for good
Hong Kong resident Mark Western completed a 250km solo-kayak around Hong Kong in June to raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation. The project, Kayak 150, aimed to raise awareness of avoidable blindness among the Hong Kong public. It successfully gathered support for The Foundation and made it into the media spotlight.
3. Taking to the street to end avoidable blindness
A face-to-face team was set up to engage the public with our efforts to end avoidable blindness. For as little as $150, individuals can join efforts and support the work of The Foundation to restore sight. Check out how you can join us.
4. Moving into a new office
To get ready for more challenging work ahead, we have expanded and moved to a new office. The Hong Kong office will continue to strengthen its base as the fundraising hub for The Foundation in the Asia-Pacific region through expansion and partnership with local universities on research.
5. The Head of Hong Kong appointed
Dr Anson Wong joined The Fred Hollows Foundation to oversee the operation of the Hong Kong office while exploring various fundraising opportunities with corporates, individual philanthropists and the general public. Dr Wong comes from a strong background of corporate social responsibility and fundraising.