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

Published Wednesday 13th of July 2016 12:44:29 PM

ACS Cobham International School student, Ruthie Glauber, aged 15, has recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime experience, visiting India on a unique journalism internship. The project, now entering its sixteenth year, is sponsored by ACS International Schools Foundation and Orbis, a global sight-saving charity working to improve access to eye services by training local eye care teams in developing countries. Ruthie was joined on the trip by four other ACS students; Lillian Davies, aged 17, from ACS Egham; Hana Dowidar, aged 16 and Roberta Muller, aged 18, from ACS Hillingdon; and Joshua Jacob, aged 16, from ACS Doha. The five students visited a range of eye care services, from the H V Desai Hospital in Pune, to a school eye care screening in the hills of Panchgani. They also visited a school for blind students and watched as 150 people had their bandages removed following cataract surgery - patients from just one morning’s surgery list. India has one of the highest blindness rates in the world; eight million people are entirely blind, of which 320,000 are children. During the internship, students posted regular blogs, photos and social media updates and this year, for the first time, Orbis UK has also tasked the students to produce a short narrative film to educate young people. Ruthie was struck by the enthusiasm and compassionate nature of the Indian students, commenting: “We were lucky enough to meet and interview some of the younger students; their enthusiasm towards learning and their kindness towards one another were genuine and a true exemplification of the community of which they are representative. “The experience has been incredible. I have concluded that vision, no matter the extent of ability, is a commodity more valuable than any other, thus the urgency of Orbis’s mission”. 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 UK . Kathryn Sweet, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Orbis UK commented: “ACS International Schools have partnered with Orbis UK for the 16th 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 £400,000, as their students continue to enthuse countless others to join the fight against avoidable blindness.” During their time in Pune, the students wrote extensively about their experiences. You can find out more about what they saw and read their blogs by clicking on the following link: www.orbis.org/news/uk/blog
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