World Sight Day is an international day of awareness, held annually to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The Fred Hollows Foundation is encouraging schools to get involved in World Sight Day 09 (WSD09) to be held on 8th October 2009. This year the theme is Gender and Eye Health – equal access to care.

To commemorate WSD09, The Foundation is inviting students to contribute to VISION 2020’s international photo montage. All students have to do is take a photograph of two people of different genders (one of whom needs to be blindfolded) and then email their photos to communications@v2020.org – the extra challenge for this year is to include a tree or a plant in the background.

Alternatively, students can simply plant a tree on WSD09 to show their support.
Some statistics about gender and blindness:
• Nearly two-thirds of blind people worldwide are women and girls
• In many places, men have twice the access to eye care as women
• Equal access to eye care could substantially reduce blindness in poor countries*
• Simple and effective strategies can and do successfully address this inequity within VISION 2020: The Right to Sight.

Without effective, major intervention, the number of blind people worldwide is projected to increase to 76 million by 2020. In 2008, The Fred Hollows Foundation restored sight to 176,472 people but there is still a lot more to do. Raise awareness in your school community and help us achieve the VISION2020 goal of eradicating avoidable blindness by 2020.

Visit www.getfocused.org.au/worldsightday for details or contact Kate Morrison at schools@hollows.org tel (02) 8741 1933