The legacy of Sightsavers, formally known as the British Empire Society for the Blind, was founded by Sir John and Lady WIlson. Sir John Wilson felt a dire need to start this movement, as he too was affected by blindness during an explosion from a science experiment gone wrong during his High School years. Over the years, Sir John witnessed and was appalled by the scale of blindness that he saw, as well as the conditions that blind people were living in, so he wanted to do something about it.
Sightsavers has provided assistance to the blind, that can in no way be quantified. They have assisted some of the poorest countries in the world with fighting to eliminate blindness by assisting with early diagnosis, prevention of, and ultimately, the elimination of debilitating diseases affecting eye sight. Not only do they assist in just the blindness in itself, they also provide those affected a better way of life by offering access to clean water and an education.
In their latest project, Sightsavers, along with funding from USAID, is helping children in four regions of Mali that are suffering with visual impairments. The staff leading the project took the initiative to speak with local families and ran radio advertisements to assist in finding children who were not attending school because of visual impairments. With all of their combined efforts, Sightsavers was able to supply 122 children with glasses, there are a total of 202 children that are to be monitored by their teachers, and the children that are affected by a condition called Albinism were taught how to protect themselves and their eyes from the sun. They were even given protective clothing and sunscreen.
There have been many testimonials and success stories that have derived from the kind-heated gestures implemented by sightsavers. For instance, there is a testimonial from one young girl that was able to benefit from the program by the name of Ariane Marie. Ariane explains how she was failing in school and could not learn, nor write properly, due to her inability to see with clarity. Ariane is now able to keep up with her peers in the class room, as she is able to learn without difficulty with the help of her new glasses. This goes to show that not only is Sightsavers saving vision, they are saving lives all over the world and providing hope for those that never could see past there struggles.