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ACS Hillingdon student returns from sight saving mission in Vietnam


ACS Hillingdon International School student, Julie Lestrup, aged 17, has recently returned from a journalism internship in Vietnam’s Hue Province with global sight-saving charity, Orbis.

The internship was designed to help generate awareness amongst young people of Orbis’s work, as well as encouraging students to engage with crucial world health issues. During their time in Vietnam, five students from ACS International Schools reported on the medical and community work supported by Orbis by posting regular blogs, photos, and social media updates. They will also be making a short film covering visits to the homes of children who’d had eye operations.

Orbis works globally to transform lives in developing countries by providing the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care and eliminate avoidable blindness. The ACS International Schools Foundation has been a valued partner since 2000, sponsoring ACS pupils to undertake this demanding internship.

On their trip, the students visited Hue Eye Hospital and Hue Central Hospital to meet with doctors and nurses and learn about paediatric eye services. Interviewing parents and observing children’s eye surgeries gave the students a real insight into Orbis’s fascinating work. The students also spent a day at the Friends of Hue Foundation Children’s Shelter to experience a community eye care screening, and also spent time with surgery patients and their families who had been treated within the local hospital.

Julie Lestrup, student at ACS Hillingdon International School, said:

“I have never been to Vietnam before so I was excited to learn about the culture, eye care and to meet passionate doctors saving sight and lives.

“I have seen what an important role the doctors have and what a significant change they make in their patients’ lives - I’m inspired by their passion and determination whilst saving the lives of many. This internship didn’t just teach me about the importance of the doctors, but the severity of poverty some people experience, the importance of good eye care and helping each other in a community.”

Julie was joined on the trip by four other ACS students, Ife Owoeye from ACS Cobham International School; Sonia Ali and Charline Muller from ACS Egham International School; and Louise Danielle Aurelia from ACS Doha International School.

Kathryn Sweet, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Orbis UK, commented:

“ACS International Schools have partnered with Orbis UK for the 14th year to provide their students with a fantastic opportunity to see the world differently. Five outstanding candidates were selected for their ability to connect with our work and capture engaging stories, photos and videos which will educate others on their experience. They did a fantastic job and threw themselves into the task at hand.

Orbis is extremely grateful for this partnership with ACS as their support is even greater than their generous financial donation, which now exceeds £410,000, as their students continue to enthuse countless others to join the fight against avoidable blindness.”

In previous years, students have embarked on Orbis internships in many countries, including India, the Philippines, Panama and Mongolia.

To read the students’ blog about their time in Vietnam, visit: http://gbr.orbis.org/news/uk/all
Published: July 18 2017

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