'Seeing is TRULY Believing' for Pro Practicum Learners, thanks to Standard Chartered Bank
6 May 2010 – 'Seeing is truly Believing'for 50 learners at the Pro Practicum School in West Krugersdorp thanks to Standard Chartered Bank, the international bank with a presence in over 75 markets across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The Bank has sponsored eye tests and the prescription of spectacles for those learners in need for the second consecutive year, with the number of children who received spectacles this year doubling from last year.
"We greatly appreciate the support of Standard Chartered Bank in funding this valuable initiative for our learners. A child's future greatly depends on their ability to learn, and without clear vision, our learners cannot expect to fulfil their maximum potential in the classroom if they are struggling to read or see the board. The children are really excited to receive their brand new pairs of glasses – with some having struggled to see clearly for many years now,” commented Principal J A J van Rensburg of the Pro Practicum School.
Optometrist, Dr Gift Nsele, from the Department of Health gave his time and valuable expertise in partnering with the Bank to conduct the eye tests at the school on a weekly basis, and prescribed the required glasses. All the learners’ participated in basic screening, with 200 learners being referred to formal eye tests with Dr Nsele.
Out of the 50 children who received spectacles, 2 learners are blind in one eye but desperately require prescription lenses to assist with sight in their remaining eyes. Another boy’s sight had deteriorated to such an extent from his eye test last year, that he has now been referred to more specialist eye care at the Laratong hospital, where he will be able to rectify his sight with an operation. Dr Nsele also detected a very rare condition in one of the learners, called ‘Keyhole Syndrome’ where the iris of the eyes is literally shaped like a keyhole. This is a congenital condition from birth where the iris is fixed in this unusual shape and unable to adjust to incoming light for the eye, causing the child severe discomfort in bright light or day time. This learner was prescribed light-adjusting lenses, which will dramatically improve the child’s discomfort and ability to see. Without the partnership of Department of Health’s Dr Nsele and Standard Chartered, these children would not have the opportunity to improve their sight, and would have continued to struggle and suffer with poor eyesight and sometimes painful conditions.
Speaking at the rather noisy but excited presentation of the learners’ spectacles at the school, Lauren Callie, Standard Chartered’s Head of Corporate Affairs for South Africa, said, “Seeing is Believing is the Group’s very successful international campaign where Standard Chartered has committed to restoring sight to 20million individuals world-wide by 2012. In South Africa, we are playing our part in contributing to this global target, by extending eye care services to over 1 million individuals in KwaZulu Natal as well as participating in adhoc projects such as Pro Practicum school. We are honoured to be able to make a difference in the lives of these young learners, with this initiative demonstrating the bank’s brand promise: To be Here for good and Here for people. We look forward to continuing our support of the Pro Practicum School.”
For further details please contact:Lauren Callie
Head of Corporate Affairs, South Africa
+27 (0)82 894 5581
Notes to Editors
Standard Chartered - leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Standard Chartered PLC is a leading international bank, listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges. It has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets and earns around 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This geographic focus and commitment to developing deep relationships with clients and customers has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years.
With 1700 offices in 70 markets, Standard Chartered offers exciting and challenging international career opportunities for its 75,000 staff. It is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. The Bank’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, 'Here for good'.
SEEING IS BELIEVING - Eye care access for millions in poor urban communities
We are working to raise US$20million to make quality, long-term eye care services available to 20 million people in densely-populated and deprived urban areas of 20 cities worldwide, by 2014. Since we began, Seeing is Believing has raised more than US$17million, restored sight for more than two million people and is funding work to prevent and cure blindness that will reach 10 million people by 2010. "Seeing is Believing - A New Vision" is the fourth phase of our work so far - and our biggest challenge yet. We launched our commitment in October 2008, as a Clinton Global Initiative pledge. It focuses on funding comprehensive and sustainable eye care in deprived, urban areas where access to eye care is limited or non-existent. We want to leave a lasting legacy of ongoing care for 20 million people in need. Avoidable blindness is increasingly an urban problem with more than half the world's population residing in urban areas. The rapid growth in urban populations poses a huge challenge to public service delivery. We want to ensure free or affordable, high quality eye services are available in the slums and underprivileged areas. We will do this by funding the development of medical infrastructure, the training of eye care personnel, and supporting service provision. We will also empower communities to take an active stance in their own eye health through education and the training of community outreach workers and "vision entrepreneurs".
For more information on Seeing is Believing, visit http://www.seeingisbelieving.org.uk
Standard Chartered Africa
Standard Chartered has operated in Africa for over 146 years and the region remains a core part of the Bank’s Group Strategic Intent. Standard Chartered Bank has over 160 branches in 14 African countries and over 6,000 staff. Standard Chartered Africa is a highly respected, well established “household name”, with deep-rooted local knowledge and experience. The Bank also has a unique international footprint which enables it to facilitate the growth of international trade corridors between Africa and the rest of the world. And with world-class suites of products, services, distribution channels and systems, the Bank provides customers with increasingly sophisticated and pioneering banking services – unrivalled in Africa.
In South Africa, Standard Chartered is focused on its successful Wholesale Banking strategy, leveraging its international footprint and expertise for the benefit of South African corporates and multinationals. In addition to the Bank’s lending and financial markets capabilities, the Johannesburg Branch boasts ‘Regional Centres of Expertise’ such as Agricultural Finance, Project & Export Finance, Private Equity, Transaction Banking as well as mergers and acquisitions expertise within the Corporate Advisory and Finance team.
For more information on Standard Chartered, please visit www.standardchartered.com