Local non-profit sees a bright future for international development

CALGARY, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Calgary-based Operation Eyesight Universal is honouring International Development Week (IDW) 2011, which takes place Feb. 6 to 12, by continuing to provide the best for the poorest in the developing world.

"Canada plays a vital role in international development, and individuals and development organizations like Operation Eyesight are the hands and feet of that effort," says president and CEO Pat Ferguson. "Being blind and poor is a terrible combination. Our organization has seen that bringing and restoring sight to people in need builds healthier, more equitable and more prosperous societies."

Operation Eyesight, one of only a small number of international non-governmental organizations based in Calgary, has worked to fight avoidable blindness for almost 50 years. It's currently working in India and the African countries of Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia—places where blindness can be deadly, especially to those who are young, old or poor.

Operation Eyesight's deeply committed community of donors allows it to focus on sustainable development. It works directly with medical professionals, communities and governments in Africa and India to build their capacity to provide quality eye care and sustainable community development for their own people.

The Canadian International Development Agency organizes IDW on behalf of the Government of Canada. Held annually in the first full week of February, IDW highlights and celebrates the work of the Canadian development community. This year's theme is "I Am Making a Difference!" For more information on IDW and a list of events, go to www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/idw

Operation Eyesight is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness in the developing world. It works with medical professionals and communities in Africa and India to help provide quality eye care programs and sustainable community development. Since 1963, through the support of its donors, 35 million of the world's poorest people have had their sight restored or protected. To learn more about Operation Eyesight's work, visit www.operationeyesight.com.

SOURCE Operation Eyesight Universal

For further information:

For further information or to request an interview:
Natalie Dawes, Development Communications Specialist
Office: 403-670-2638; Mobile: 403-404-1817
Toll Free: 1-800-585-8265
dawesn@operationeyesight.com

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