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Saving Sight and Changing Lives

The Fred Hollows Foundation sets up a regional office in Hong Kong to raise funds for vision restoration throughout Asia.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is a charity founded in 1992 by the famous Australian ophthalmologist, Professor Fred Hollows. He is widely recognised for his pioneering work in restoring eyesight for countless people around the world as well as his dedication to improving the health of Indigenous Australians living in remote communities. The Foundation envisions a world in which no one is needlessly blind. In just the past five years, it has supported 2,061,088 sight-restoring or sight-improving treatments and operations. The Foundation can save sight for as little as HK$150.

Saving Sight and Changing Lives

“Having the Foundation’s new regional office in Hong Kong will allow us to reach the increasing number of needlessly blind in Asia, especially in Mainland China, where 20 percent of the world’s blind live,” Brian Doolan, CEO, The Fred Hollows Foundation, said.

“The Foundation chose Hong Kong because it is a dynamic city with a strong culture of philanthropy and charitable giving, making it a perfect place for international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the Greater China and Asian regions,” he added.

The Foundation is focused on ending avoidable blindness caused by cataract, trachoma, diabetes and the need for glasses. It helps people to help themselves by building capacity at all levels — from village health centres to regional hospitals and national ophthalmological networks. The Foundation trains local doctors and health workers, builds and upgrades facilities and provides equipment to achieve long-term and sustainable eye health care.

“The impact of restoring someone’s sight is enormous. It changes lives and creates new opportunities. Our research demonstrates that every US$1 invested in restoring sight generates on average US$4 economic return,” Doolan said.

Doolan is also positive about the growing awareness of corporate social responsibility in Hong Kong, and the approach leading companies are taking to integrate their long-term strategy of business growth and social outcomes.

“Hong Kong will become a regional hub to support our offices in Mainland China and southeast Asia. It is an amazing city, full of opportunities for an organisation like ours committed to expanding our influence and activities in the region,” he said.

The Foundation contacted InvestHK’s Sydney office during the planning stage of its Hong Kong office. The Department’s support included assistance with company registration and application for charity status, networking opportunities and public relations support.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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Fast Facts

  • A leading Australian charity established in 1992
  • Operates in more than 25 countries across Asia and Africa

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