SOPHIE WESSEX has visited blindness charity, Orbis UK, for the launch of their new scheme to offer surgical support to three countries in Africa and Asia.
Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, visited blindness prevention charity Orbis UK on Tuesday. The 56-year-old was in attendance to help launch an appeal to provide surgery to people in Ethiopia, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Orbis UK’s new African and Asian endeavour is known as their Surgical Fund Appeal and aims to provide 17,000 operations across the three nations.
Donations will be matched by Orbis Ambassador, Sunil Ruia and his family, until the 31st of December.
The Countess of Wessex has herself made trips to India and Bangladesh with the charity as a Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
In a statement released on the charity’s website, Orbis UK’s chief executive, Rebecca Cronin, said: “As an organisation, we bring people together to work as one to ensure no one loses their sight simply because of where they live.
Sophie Wessex ‘captures hearts and minds’ amid support for heartfelt blindness appeal (Image: Getty)
The 56-year-old was in attendance to help launch an appeal to provide surgery in Africa and Asia (Image: Getty)
“When eye care professionals get the training they need, patients get the eye care they deserve.
“Access to this care is not always easy, and in many areas across Ethiopia, Nepal and Bangladesh, services may be too far away or cost too much.
“Through this fund we hope to open-up these services to the people who need them most, and thanks to the Ruia family, donations to the Surgical Fund Appeal can now have twice the impact.”
Ms Cronin previously said of Sophie’s work: “Over the years, the support Her Royal Highness has given to eye care charities has enabled us to attract more support, and therefore expand our work in countries where eye care services are scarce.”
Lady Louise, 17, was born prematurely and subsequently had quite a “profound” squint. (Image: Getty)
“The Countess captures the hearts and minds of everyone she meets, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to work with her,” she added.
Just two weeks ago, Express.co.uk reported how Sophie Wessex has said she was inspired to support charities for the visually-impaired after seeing her own daughter, Lady Louise, suffer from sight problems.
Lady Louise, 17, was born prematurely and subsequently had quite a “profound” squint.
However, over time, Louise had her squint corrected and her mother has since said “her eyesight is perfect”.
Sophie Wessex (left) on her wedding day with her husband, Prince Edward, (right) (Image: Getty)
The Countess told a Seeing Is Believing gala dinner in 2015: “I have seen sight being restored and I can promise you there are few things more rewarding in this world than seeing someone step from the dark into the light.”
In one of her last Royal appearances before her annual summer trip to the Queen’s Scottish residence Balmoral, Sophie Wessex cycled in a charity event for Vision Foundation.
Just days before, she even invited her cycling partner for a practice run at the Wessexes’ home, Bagshot Park.
Speaking to the Mirror Online’s features editor, Zoe Forsey, Ms Smith said: “I took my tandem to Bagshot Park the day before the event, which was very exciting.”
“It was a beautiful summer morning,” she added. (Image: Getty)
Vision Foundation’s centenary appeal manager added: “I was a bit apprehensive thinking ‘oh my goodness I’m going to a royal venue, how nerve-wracking’, but it was so relaxed.”