ACS Egham student returns from Orbis sight saving trip

ACS International School students on Orbis sight saving trip

Five ACS International School students, including Niamh Rya from Egham, 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.

Niamh Rya from ACS Egham, joined Raquel Garcia and Kate Miller from ACS Hillingdon, Simon Ogundare from ACS Cobham and Fiona Joseph from ACS Doha in Qatar. 

Niamh commented:

To be able to experience firsthand the impact of Orbis’s work in Chennai was such an amazing opportunity. It was incredible to see children with life-altering disabilities smiling from ear-to-ear whenever they were with the Orbis team – it was clear how much they valued their help. This trip has definitely motivated me to pursue a career in medicine.

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.