The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ has joined forces with Viva magazine to create a limited-edition tote bag which will give a person back their eyesight. The bag, designed by Viva Fashion & Creative Director, Dan Ahwa, comes free with any $35 donation to The Foundation, meaning that each bag will give sight to one needlessly blind person in the Pacific and provide five others with a pair of glasses.
The bag features a piece of beautiful artwork created by Dan and titled Fresh Choice.
“This artwork represents the colours and textures of the main market in Salelologa, Savai’i, where they sell fresh local produce every day. It's important for people in the Pacific to go back to its roots and eat healthily, especially as diabetes is one of the main contributors to blindness across the Pacific. The artwork also highlights the bold colours of the market place that make being able to see well all the more needed,” says Dan.
The tote bag comes in time for Christmas, meaning people can make the donation and give the bag as a gift to a loved one – giving a gift that will change lives in the Pacific. A life like Simalo, who at the age of 24 and four months pregnant with her first child, had been blinded by cataracts in both eyes for over three years. Simalo felt helpless, thinking that she would never be able to care for her child and watch them grow, until she attended a Foundation Outreach and had her sight restored in both eyes.
It costs just $25 for a short 20-minute operation to restore someone’s sight and millions of people around the world are blind simply because they don’t have access to eye care services, including in the Pacific where four out of five people who are blind don't need to be.