International Day of Education

January 24th is ‘International Day of Education’, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of investing in people and prioritising educations. Thanks to funding from Qatar Charity, we're able to provide opportunities to both educate and protect educations in South-East Bangladesh.

Sustainable Development Goal 4

Providing quality education for all is fundamental to creating a peaceful and prosperous world. That's why education is part of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, who state that 'Education gives people the knowledge and skills they need to stay healthy, get jobs and foster tolerance'.

Goal four looks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. Education is a powerful tool and plays a vital part in Orbis's mission to drive down avoidable blindness across the world. Increased knowledge and training for eye care teams means more quality treatments can be delivered to those with eye conditions. Education on vision loss for community leaders means they can help find those in need of support and direct people to local services.

But sight loss can greatly impact education too. Did you know that 80% of what a child learns is processed through their vision? A lack of sight can mean a lack of education and missed opportunities.

Pillars of the Community

Eye conditions and what to look out for are discussed at a dedicated training session for frontline workers at Balukhali Vision Centre

In South-East Bangladesh, thanks to the support of Qatar Charity, with our local partners we are working to build a comprehensive referral network. Between April and September in 2022, 40 frontline workers from the refugee camp and host community (including teachers, community health workers, religious leaders, social workers, medical support staff and community mobilisers) were trained in primary eye care by Cox’s Bazar Baitush Sharaf Hospital – CBBSH. With their new-found knowledge, this dedicated group can refer people with eye issues, in line with COVID-19 safety measures, to the nearest vision centre. Their standing in the community helps to build confidence and encourage those with sight loss to seek treatment.

Frontline workers take part in training to support those in their community with vision loss

Education = Opportunities

It’s important to treat a child’s vision loss quickly, as a delay in treatment for certain conditions can result in irreversible damage. Eye care is not always easy to access and when this happens, a child may not be able to see the board or read their books, causing them to fall behind in their studies and in some cases, drop out of school.

Through Qatar Charity funding, over 13,500 eye tests have been provided to children in Cox’s Bazar so far and over 400 glasses prescribed. Sometimes a simple pair of glasses is all it takes to transform a child's experience of education.

Thank you to Qatar Charity for their ongoing support, which is enabling Orbis and partners to provide access to education in so many ways.

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