Last Thursday on August 28 was my 45th birthday. Instead of receiving gifts I decided to give gifts. The gift of vision.
Here’s the story. At our annual Accountants conference this year (6 weeks ago in Bali) I pledged 10% of the funds of those that signed up to the 2015 conference to a very significant charity in Bali. The registration total on the day came to $312,700. So $31,270 to be donated. See big cheque below.
The charity selected was created by the legendary John Fawcett. His charity is www.balieye.org. He started it 26 years ago with the single view of helping Balinese people to see again. To give the gift of vision. Blindness is a rampant problem in Bali due to diet, sun, diabetes and its even hereditary. Bali has one of the highest ‘blindness per capita’ ratios in the world and the foundation John started is doing something about it. In 26 years they have given over 40,000 Balinese the gift of sight. Quite staggering. Their goal is 80,000 by the year 2020 – and they’re on track for that.
The Balieye team are small (around 25 people) with 5 mobile vans and they are busy doing 6,000 cataract surgeries every year. It’s not a big foundation but it is very lean and it survives 100% on donations. Of the donations received only 9% is taken up in Administration costs and the rest goes to fix the problem.
Our donation will screen 10,000 and give glasses to those that need them. It will also create sight from total blindness of approx 100 people. On the day we visited I was especially moved by Ketut.
He is 31 years old and has been totally blind since birth. A French couple found him in the jungle and brought him to Sanur where the head office is. On the Friday afternoon he had the surgery (on just one eye at this stage) and on Saturday morning they took the patch off. For the first time in 31 years he saw his brother. He was very overwhelmed with the entire experience (as you would) and didn’t say a lot. He did say (through an interpreter) that he was keen to get the surgery so he could get a girlfriend!
It was an incredibly moving event to know that we are doing something good in the world. All through the power of Accountants! The photo’s tell the story but the video tells the best story about Ketut.