In 1993, The Fred Hollows Foundation opened an office in New Zealand. In the early days they raised money to support the intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal.
Since 2002 they have been restoring sight, training eye health workers, and building clinics in the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea, where four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be.
They focus on preventable and treatable diseases such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. They train local doctors, nurses and health care workers and give them the technology they need to recognise, diagnose, refer, and treat eye problems in their communities. They build new clinics and come up with innovative ways to reach people in need, like their mobile eye clinic in Fiji. They undertake research to improve their understanding of avoidable blindness, and use their findings to bring about much-needed change.
They are overseen by their Trust Board and Executive Director Andrew Bell leads day-to-day operations. But their team of dedicated and passionate eye care professionals in the Pacific are the real heroes. Following years of training at the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji, they use their time and energy to restore sight in their own communities. Their end goal is to give them the reins and put themselves out a job.
They are independent, not-for-profit, politically unaligned and secular.