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Published Tuesday 3rd of September 2013 10:43:49 AM

ACS Cobham students visits Panama as part of sight-saving charity mission

ACS Cobham International School students, Yousif Salih, aged 16, and Fidan Damirova, aged 17, are amongst four lucky students who travelled to Panama this summer aboard the world famous ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital. The sight-saving charity mission is part of an internship sponsored by ACS International Schools Foundation and ORBIS; an international sight-saving charity training eye care teams in developing countries and improving world-wide access to quality eye care.
The programme, now entering its thirteenth year, provides students with a unique learning opportunity, building on the school's fundamental belief that true learning is not confined to the classroom.
Travelling with a team of ophthalmologists, Yousif and Fidan were joined on the trip by two other ACS students, Gianfilippo Ruggiero aged 17, from ACS Hillingdon, and Sofie S�rsk� Engen, aged 17, from ACS Egham.

The students were awarded their places on the trip following a rigorous application process. This involved a written application and an interview with a panel of six representatives from ACS International Schools, ACS International Schools Foundation and ORBIS.

ACS Cobham student Fidan Damirova commented:

'The work ORBIS does is truly life changing for people who cannot afford to get the medical help they need. The ORBIS team not only cure people but also help teach local doctors which is really important work, as they are the ones who will perform treatments for the local community later on. I am very happy that I've had the opportunity to take part. It was an experience I will never forget.'

ACS Cobham student Yousif Salih added:

'There were many different reasons why I chose to apply for the scheme, the biggest being my dream to enter the field of medicine. The trip has given me a unique insight into the responsibilities of becoming a doctor and has inspired me more than ever to continue chasing my dream.'

The four students joined ophthalmologists in August aboard a DC-10 aircraft specially converted into a teaching hospital. On-board the refurbished aircraft, students were on hand to witness the ORBIS international medical team exchange knowledge with and improve the skills of local doctors, nurses and technicians. The students observed surgery and provided post-operative support, experiencing first hand the difference that ORBIS volunteer doctors and nurses make to people's lives.

Florence Branchu, ORBIS Corporate Partnerships Manager commented:

'ORBIS is proud to offer ACS students this unique opportunity of seeing international development in action and witnessing how ORBIS is tackling preventable blindness in developing countries. During their visit to Panama they gathered case studies, shadowed staff and captured our sight-saving work through their own eyes. The calibre of students is always high and the team onboard the Flying Eye Hospital thoroughly enjoy having them aboard. We look forward to welcoming them and all they have gathered, back to the UK.'
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