Joining the dots in Qatar

Florence Branchu

Royal support can do more than simply underwrite programmes. Given commitment and knowledge, it can also lead to the creation of important initiatives

I work for Orbis, an international charity which brings people together to fight avoidable blindness. Through our network of partners, we mentor, train and inspire local teams to fight blindness in their own communities. With 253 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired, including 75 per cent from avoidable conditions, growing the number of projects we deliver is more necessary than ever. One of our key initiatives, Qatar Creating Vision (QCV), has been made possible by royal support.

Crucially, above and beyond the immediate coverage and fundraising, royal patronage opens doors through the conversations it enables and the platform that it creates.

Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has enabled us to make our presence and the work we do known and to raise much needed resources. As patron of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, and global ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, she is passionate about eradicating avoidable blindness. She has brought not only patronage, but knowledge to the cause. In her visits with Orbis to the State of Qatar, India and Bangladesh, the countess’s commitment to preventing blindness worldwide has captured hearts and minds of the community at large including business people and dignitaries.

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