Orbis Ireland

Orbis' mission is to preserve and restore sight by strengthening the capacity of local partners in their efforts to prevent and treat blindness with the vision that this will lead to a world in which no one is needlessly blind, where quality eye care, education, and treatment are available to every human being.
Sep 16, 2013

Giving the gift of sight in Dita, Ethiopia

Trachoma is an infectious eye disease which begins as a seemingly harmless eye infection. If left untreated, the disease progresses to become a serious condition which can cause blindness. In Ethiopia, eye care facilities are poor and inadequately equipped to meet the needs of the large population. Through sustainable training and partnership creation, ORBIS is working to change this.

Earlier this year, ORBIS met Amu. Having heard of the treatment available in the local health centre through a friend, Amu came to see if he could be helped. The walk to the centre takes almost three hours and with poor visibility, Amu struggled. His advanced trachoma infection had caused him pain and torment for nearly two years. As the condition worsened, the eyelashes began to turn inwards and eventually scratch the surface of the eye so badly that he was at a real risk of going blind. Thankfully, Amu had come to the health centre just in time.  

After a brief consultation with an ORBIS-trained nurse, Amu was prepared for surgery. Just 20 minutes later and the procedure was complete. This simple surgery will have a life-changing effect for him. When we spoke with Amu afterwards, he said that he was most looking forward to being able to carry out daily tasks by himself and not being seen as a burden by his family. Unfortunately, there are too many others who suffer needlessly just like Amu.

ORBIS has been working in southern Ethiopia for almost ten years now and during that time we have carried out thousands of sight-saving surgeries just like Amu's. The cost of conducting these simple, yet highly effective surgeries is just €6 or $10. If you can afford to help, please show your support and make a donation today. Thank you!

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Jun 10, 2013

Providing Access to clean Water in Konso, Ethiopia

Konso Water Pump
Konso Water Pump

ORBIS Ireland is committed to providing the Ethiopian people with access to clean water; an integral element in the battle to eliminate trachoma from the country. Trachoma is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted through contact. Promoting personal hygiene and the importance of hand and face washing is highly effective but without access to clean water this education can become redundant. 

 Recently, a group of fundraisers joined me on a tour of Konso, southern Ethiopia. The region is largely inhabited by farming communities. Water is a scarce resource and many members of the community travel up to twenty kilometres to fetch it. The area is largely dry and before our intervention there was virtually no water harvesting infrastructure in place. 

In partnership with Water Aid, ORBIS has transformed accessibility to clean water in this area. Building an underground damn has allowed the community to collect water all year round. In turn, this is connected to a nearby pumping station that serves around 1000 people. The impact of providing water to this community has been enormous and your generosity has made this project possible.   

ORBIS has been working to provide clean water to the people of Konso for over five years now and with your support, we are making progress. Through providing access to clean, potable water, we are helping to eliminate trachoma and other diseases. By 2015, we hope to leave the people of Konso with the skills and infrastructure needed to support themselves in a sustainable way. Thank you for being a part of this. 

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May 24, 2013

Building Latrines in Konso

Building Latrines in Konso
Building Latrines in Konso

ORBIS has been working in Konso, southern Ethiopia, for over five years now. On a recent visit to the region, we had a fantastic opportunity to witness the building of a new community latrine. 

Located just off the town's market square, this facility will benefit an estimated 1,000 people per week and serve as a key element of our strategy to improve sanitation facilities in order to combat avoidable blindness in the region. Before ORBIS began construction, open defecation was a common practice in this area. Through building community latrines, ORBIS is inhibiting the spread of the bacteria which causes the blinding eye disease trachoma. 

Providing access to basic sanitation is a priority in our work. We have witnessed the local population's continued willingness to learn about the benefits of good hygiene. In turn, public attitudes towards sanitation are improving; this is key to the success of our work in Ethiopia.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can continue to build and maintain latrines in Konso and beyond. On behalf of all those who directly benefit from your support - Thank You! Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about our work. 

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