ACS Cobham student returns from Orbis sight saving trip
Five ACS International School students, including Simon Ogundare from ACS Cobham, recently returned from a two-week internship with sight saving charity, Orbis, in Chennai, India.
As part of a two-week journalism internship, five students from ACS International Schools, aged 15 – 17, joined Orbis, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing eye care to disadvantaged communities worldwide.
The internship, now in its 18th year and sponsored by the ACS International Schools Foundation, allows students to understand and witness Orbis’s sight saving work in hospitals, schools and the community.
Based in Chennai, India, the five students visited one of the first hospitals Orbis partnered with in the country – the Sankara Nethralaya Hospital, where they observed a number of procedures including an operation where a nine-month-old baby had their cataract removed. The students also visited the Elite School of Optometry, where they learned how to spot vision loss and how children’s eyes are tested at school screenings funded by the charity.
Being able to talk to the families affected was such an important part of this trip for me. It not only helped me understand the stories behind the statistics; it really made me appreciate how deprived these underdeveloped communities are when it comes to healthcare. The trip was a great opportunity to experience and learn about the communities Orbis works with.
In the last few days of their trip, the students attended eye care screenings at a local school for children with cerebral palsy and autism. Students also spent time at the hospital with families and patients who had been treated, to hear about their experiences and the positive impact the treatment has had on their lives.
This year, students produced blogs and photos from their trip used by Orbis to raise awareness of its crucial work.
Nilly Sutton, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Orbis UK, commented:
This years’ trip was once again a great success. All the students have been a great help throughout their internship and it’s extremely encouraging to see young people wanting to play their part in world health issues.
"Orbis is extremely grateful for this partnership with ACS and for all of the students from the schools who continue to enthuse countless others to join us in the fight against avoidable blindness.”