In 2018, we celebrated 25 years of not holding back, a phrase we use to describe our vision for The Foundation - Fred never held back and neither do we. To commemorate, we proudly launched the inaugural annual Future Fund to take Fred’s vision into the next 25 years.
The first project to benefit from the Future Fund was the 2018 upgrade and expansion of the Vanuatu National Eye Centre in Port Vila. This centre, along with the return of a Foundation-trained eye specialist, will eventually increase Vanuatu’s eye surgery capacity from 200 to 800 each year, meeting the country’s needs as estimated by the World Health Organization. Building on our past experiences in designing and constructing national tertiary eye clinics, we were happy once again to partner with the New Zealand government in the Pacific to deliver another major health infrastructure project.
“It’s obscene to let people go blind when they don’t need to.” - Professor Fred Hollows
Infrastructure development has always been an integral part of building a modern eye care service. Many donors will recall our early appeals funded the building of intraocular lens factories in Eritrea and Nepal. At the time both were revolutionary in their design and audacious in their objectives, and both have succeeded beyond the most generous predictions. More recently, having a regional focus and building a state of the art facility, The Regional Eye Centre in Solomon Islands was the most effective way to make a lasting impact.
As well as backing significant projects like these, the Future Fund will secure essential equipment and training to empower our Pacific Leaders to restore sight in the region.
“In the Pacific, from the Pacific, for the Pacific’ is how I would like to sum up what we aim to achieve." - Craig Fisher, The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ Board Chair
For 2019, our next significant projects include: