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ACS Hillingdon student travels to India on sight-saving charity assignment

Published Friday 8th of May 2015 02:30:54 PM

ACS Hillingdon International School student, Rosie Croysdale, aged 16, spent her Easter holidays a little differently this year, embarking on a sight saving mission to India.

The project, now entering its fifteenth year, is part of a journalism internship sponsored by ACS International Schools Foundation and Orbis, a global sight-saving charity working to improve access to eye care by training local eye care teams in developing countries.

Rosie was joined on the trip by three other ACS students, Amara Le and Shania Ali from ACS Egham, and Shreya Gupta from ACS Cobham.

The four students visited local vision centres and long-term eye care projects to witness the impact of Orbis's work and gain an insight into the challenges of developing eye care facilities where the need is so great. India has one of the highest blindness rates in the world; eight million people are entirely blind, of which 320,000 are children.

Rosie was impressed with the patient care at the projects, commenting:

'After gaining an insight into how Orbis works behind the scenes, I am honoured to have worked with a charity that genuinely places the needs of families and affected patients before anything else.

'The hospitals that we visited were often brimming with patients that required urgent care, and while the facilities and equipment were basic, the needs and care of patients was always prioritised.'

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.

On their trip, the students attended a screening at an eye camp, set up in a rural area where eye care is not easily accessible. As well as local vision centres, students visited Dr Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, which Orbis has been supporting and building up children's eye health services since 2002. This allowed the students to experience first-hand the difference Orbis can make to people's lives.

Florence Branchu, Orbis Corporate Partnerships Manager commented:

'Orbis is delighted to be supported by the ACS International Schools again this year, bringing our partnership well into its second decade and over £300,000 worth of sight-saving support. What's great about this relationship is that ACS have not only substantially funded our work, but Orbis has also been able to showcase the impact of their fantastic support direct to their students.

Through this annual internship we are able to educate the lucky students and their peers about the issue of preventable blindness in developing countries. By doing so, we hope to inspire the next generation of medics and Orbis ambassadors.'

During their time in Delhi, the students wrote extensively about their experiences. You can find out what they saw and read their blogs here: www.orbis.org/news/uk/blog
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