UK aid helping Sightsavers eliminate avoidable blindness in Kenya

Jane's being fitted for sunglasses after cataract surgery in Kenya, made possible through donations and DFID funding. Photo: Twitter/Sightsavers

There have been a lot of reports recently in the UK press about foreign aid spending and how it sometimes finds its way into the wrong hands or is spent on the wrong projects.

However, it’s important to remember that this is not always the case, and in many ways, British aid is making a positive contribution and facilitating life changing opportunities for the most vulnerable worldwide.

Sightsavers, which works in numerous countries including Kenya, is just one of the many charities which receives funding through the UK’s Department for International Development.

“We help blind people to see again, and prevent people from going blind wherever we can. We improve the lives of people with disabilities, particularly those who have permanent sight loss.

“We need to change the lives of people at risk of sight loss for the long term not just today. So we campaign to make the world a fairer place for people with disabilities and we tackle the underlying causes of avoidable blindness.” – Sightsavers website

As its name suggests, the organisation helps those with vision problems and last year alone, in Kenya the charity supported:

  • More than 1.2 million treatments to protect against neglected tropical diseases
  • 77,502 eye examinations
  • 7,352 operations to restore sight or prevent blindness

Sightsavers is also one of only nine charities given a ‘high performance’ rating by the UK Department for International Development as part of a 2012 Independent Performance Review of their Programme Partnership Arrangement.

So remember to look beyond the stories about squander and waste to see how in many cases the UK’s Foreign Aid is making a positive difference to the lives of those in need.

For more information on the charity and to find out how you can help, please visit the Sightsavers website.