Seeing is Believinghits halfway point of USD100m fundraising target
London, 12th July 2012 – Seeing is Believing, StandardChartered’s global charitable initiative to tackle avoidable blindness,has reached the halfway point in its efforts to raise US$100 million to provideeye care to communities across the developing world. Since its launch in 2003,US$50 million has been raised for Seeing is Believing, which has been used totackle avoidable blindness in disadvantaged communities across StandardChartered’s markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The US$50 million milestone followsthe commitment made by Standard Chartered at the Clinton Global Initiative inSeptember 2011 to raise US$100 million by 2020 to help eliminate avoidableblindness – reinforcing the Bank’s ‘Here for good’brand promise. The Bank not only promotes and coordinates fundraising forSeeing is Believing, but also matches every dollar raised. The US$50 millionmilestone equates to US$25 million in raised funds and US$25 million in matchedfunds.
Richard Meddings, Group FinanceDirector at Standard Chartered and Chairman of Seeing is Believing, said:“When we launched Seeing is Believing in 2003, I could hardly haveimagined that come mid-2012, we’d have raised US$50 million. Support forthe cause has been fantastic, both from within Standard Chartered and outsidethe Bank.
Every dollar raised is matched byStandard Chartered and these funds have helped us reach over 28 million peoplein communities where eye care was once unaffordable or inaccessible. Inmillions of cases, the lives of adults and children have been transformed,through simple treatments and affordable surgeries. I’ve seen theresults first-hand, and they are nothing short of remarkable. We are nowfocused on raising the next US$50 million, thereby reaching our goal of raisingUS$100 million by 2020.”
The US$50 million raised for Seeing isBelieving has helped fund more than 2.8 million eye operations, 4.9 millioneye-care screenings and has enabled over 168,000 pairs of eye glasses to bedistributed across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Through Seeing isBelieving, NGOs have helped move eye care up the public healthcare agenda incountries such as China, Ghana, Indonesia and South Africa.
The funds raised for Seeing is Believinghave already been used to run eye-care projects in 24 countries. These projectsinclude:
· The establishment of 40vision centres across India, which provide a financially sustainable model toensure consistent and long-term eye care for people in communities such asrural areas and slums who have not traditionally had this access;
· The training of over 200mid-level ophthalmic staff in Nigeria, to increase the rate of cataractoperations in Kano, Oyo and surrounding states by 50 per cent in order to helptackle a backlog of people needing surgery, resulting in 46,850 peoplereceiving operations over three years;
· The integration of eye careinto health screening in Pakistan’s schools and the development of astandard approach for such eye screenings.
Staff engagement is and continues tobe an essential part of Seeing is Believing. A large number of StandardChartered’s 87,000 employees use their paid volunteering leave to raisefunds or to support eye-care NGOs by raising awareness of eye-care issues intheir local communities