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January 2009

The Gambia – Swansea Vision 2020 Link


Issue 2 – January 2009


Hello and welcome to the second Gambia-Swansea Link newsletter.  This issue is packed with all of the latest news and developments about the link.  Read on to find out more…

At last we have a logo!  This can now be used on all official correspondence.  We are also in the process of designing some posters and flyers for the notice board in corridor 7 which will be dedicated to The Gambia-Swansea Vision 2020 Link.

We are delighted to announce the official launch of The Gambia-Swansea Vision 2020 website. Check it out and discover the latest news and events for yourself.  You will also find background information about the link and a photo gallery from our initial visit to The Gambia back in April 2008.  Why not save the link as a favourite on your Internet browser so you can easily check up on all of the latest Link developments?

We have some fantastic news on the funding front too! 

Firstly, we have been successful in securing £3000 from THET (Tropical Health and Education Trust).  This money was awarded following an application for a Seedcorn Grant, which the trust gives every year to new and fledgling links just like ours. 

Mrs Suzanne Martin and Mrs Cheryl Madeira-Cole from the Orthoptic department recently attended The House of Lords for THET’s 20th Anniversary to celebrate THET’s achievements to date.

‘Undeterred by the World’s recent economic difficulties, we are determined to redouble our efforts.  The health worker crisis continues to undermine the health systems of many developing countries, the impact of which is felt most strongly in the poorest communities.  We are sure that long term partnerships between developing country health organisations and their UK counterparts can address these issues effectively – to mutual benefit.  Nothing less than a substantial scaling up of both quantity and quality will do. That is what we must plan for.’
Andrew Perkis, Chief executive of THET

The Standard Chartered Bank has also very kindly donated a large sum of money toward the link for both the first and second years.  This funding was secured with the help of Mr Michael Austin, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Mrs Stella Elliott, Swansea Link Coordinator. 

A team from the bank are also hoping to visit The Gambia to help with the design and creation of a children’s play area in the Sheik Zayed Regional eye Care Centre, Banjul.

We also have some very exciting fundraising events in the pipeline…  

Test your general knowledge on our Quiz Night, Saturday February 7th at the Vivian Hall in Blackpill. 

Dance the night away in our Glittering and Glamorous EyeBall on April 25th at the Dylan Thomas Centre.

Practice your swing at our Charity Golf Day on the 22nd May in Pennard Golf Club (organised by Mr Lindsay Bater, Optometrist). 

Visit our website for more information…

Next Visit…
The members of both The Gambia and Swansea Steering Committees have taken a great deal of time and care in creating a detailed three year activity plan for the Link.  The next visit to The Gambia is scheduled for early 2009 in which we aim to start our education, training and skills transfer programme.


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