seeing is believing

fred hollows foundationFor 13 years now Intrepid is proud to have supported the great work of the Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF), in restoring sight and improving eye health across Indochina. In recent years The Intrepid Foundation’s contributions have gone towards some of their fantastic work in Cambodia and Daniel Martin at FHF has recently updated us on their progress…

“I am very proud to report that the program in Cambodia was a great success in 2009, partly due to great support received by Intrepid. Some of the key achievements of The Fred Hollows Foundation Cambodia Program in 2009 include:
– 48,169 people screened
– 4,470 cataract and 1,398 other sight-restoring surgeries performed
– 5,432 spectacles distributed
– 6 surgeons and 11 mid-level personnel clinically trained
– 357 community health workers trained
– 445 people attending continuing education
– 1 new secondary eye unit constructed
– AU$377,817 of equipment supplied.

These numbers I’m sure you’d agree are quite remarkable, but it is quite easy to forget the individual stories of each person who’s received treatment. Let me share with you a very special story of a grandmother in Cambodia called Yim.

Yim Noang had been blind for five years. More than anything, she longed to see the face of her granddaughter, Sun Doaun. Of all her grandchildren, it was Sun who would most often take her grandmother’s hand, lead her around their village and watch out for her. Yim had heard that it was possible to get surgery to restore sight, but her daughter, who supports the whole family, earns only 80 cents a day and this made the procedure out of reach.

With help from our supporters, The FHF was able to restore Yim’s sight and give her the greatest gift of all. “The happiest thing is that I can see my grandchildren’s faces. This is what I have been looking forward to, so my dream comes true today,” Yim said.

By restoring her vision, FHF been able to help Yim regain her independence. She will now contribute to her family and take the burden of her condition away from her loved ones, including her grandchildren who will no longer have to stay away from school to care for their grandmother.”

For Yim’s full story and a slideshow of how sight restoring surgery has changed her life visit

Photo: Hugh Rutherford, FHF

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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