In 2018 the Red Cross Ball intends to help the most fragile among us: children. In Geneva and elsewhere, we can help them build a better future for themselves through our programmes. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will support its effort in the Surkhet district of Nepal, where SRC has opened an eye clinic in partnership with the Nepal Red Cross Society. This project is part of a broader campaign aimed at raising awareness of the close connections between hygiene and good health, especially eyesight and children’s health.
In Geneva, the Geneva Red Cross will visit sick children visits at the hospital and provides them with personalized support and attention. They will also provide leisure activities for disadvantaged children and special tutoring for dyslexic children.
JOURNEY TO NEPAL
It is a long-standing tradition for the SRC to organize a charity gala event in support of international cooperation projects. The theme ‘Through the eyes of a child’ was chosen for the Ball in Geneva on 29 September 2018, with a focus on eye care and school reconstruction in Nepal.
Helping children to recover their sight will enable them to receive a high-quality education. That is the goal of these projects supported by the charity event.
To find out more about the SRC’s work and meet the beneficiaries in person, six members of the Geneva organizing committee travelled to Nepal from 4 to 13 March. Accompanied by the on-site team, they were able to see the recently completed WASH project at two schools, witness an eye camp for school children and meet an elderly woman who had travelled a long way for cataract surgery at the eye hospital in Surkhet. Finally, they had the opportunity to visit the Caritas reconstruction project in Melamchi. The SRC plans to build five more schools there in partnership with Helvetas and Caritas.
Improving quality of life
More than 2 million people, mostly children, now have access to eye care in a region where none was previously available.
Large number of beneficiaries
The eye clinic has already treated more than 60,000 people and given their sight back to 2,000 of those suffering from curable blindness.
Besides Nepal, countries such as Mali, Togo, Kyrgyzstan and Ghana are also served by this hygiene education programme, eye tests and treatment.
Charity programmes in Geneva
The Geneva Red Cross is carrying out local programmes to help children, in particular among the most deprived families. In one programme, over a hundred hospitalized children and their families are supported by volunteers and provided with financial aid. The local section has also set up a leisure day programme that enables over 70 underprivileged children to take part in recreational activities run by around 30 volunteers. Finally, it runs a tailor-made home support programme for dyslexic children to help them improve their learning skills and boost their confidence in their abilities.