Bravo to Our Students!
New Sight News – August 2021
We are more than half-way through 2021! How we would love to know how your year is going. When people are kind with their words and congratulate us on the good things that we are doing, they sometimes ask us how we manage to do so much in the face of all the extra challenges brought on by COVID. And the answer is – only with your support! The truth is that we simply cannot do what we do without your support, be it in the form of prayers, finances, or encouragement through social media. Without your support, this newsletter will be blank! We communicate with you because we want you to realise what a big difference you are making in the world.
The Ouesso Training School’s first graduation ceremony
Our proudest moment came in March this year, when the New Sight Training School in Ouesso held its first-ever graduation ceremony for the 10 students completing the theory component of the training course. The students had started the course in January 2020, paused during lockdown, and resumed in late June. Finally, they took their exams this year in the usual classroom and completed the stage.
The graduation ceremony was held outdoors in the humble yard of the eye centre compound, where amid much sweating in formal clothes and shouts of the children, the staff Siko Bambemba, Delphine Bambemba, Henri Samoutou, and Sabin Ngouloubi, took turns speaking and praying for the graduates. The students brought their family members to witness this beautiful occasion, and each spoke briefly to thank New Sight and their supporters. Watch the highlights here: www.newsightcongo.com/first-graduation/
Student feedback highlighted the strengths of the programme.
“All the teachers gave their best to offer us a high level of knowledge and that allowed us to acquire a good knowledge.”
“I learned so much during the training, even things I was totally unaware of, New Sight taught me how to be loyal, how to be punctual, accountability and respect.”
“For me it was a little suspicious at first that people train you without asking for anything, I thought that the training would stop but to my great surprise I learned like never before …. New Sight contributed to a big part of my life … I thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart … I can’t do anything for you but God will remember you.”
Six of the students have been invited back to continue their training and further their practical skills.
Shipment of essential supplies
Thanks to generous funding from our supporters, the Compassion Award, and Doterra Healing Hands, we were able to send a large shipment of 44 boxes from Hong Kong to Congo in May.
This shipment included:
- New and improved medical equipment to replace our older second-hand equipment in the eye centre
- Medical tools such as thermometers and a blood pressure monitor, and supplies such as masks
- Uniforms and scrubs for our students as they begin practical work in the clinic
- Office and classroom supplies including printers and a projector
We have also been able to purchase medication in the UK that was brought back to Congo.
Through the kind donation of the Esquel Group, New Sight was able to present 12 boxes containing 1,000 reusable cloth masks to the Ouesso community. A further 4 boxes of reusable masks and another donation of surgical masks from generous supporters were reserved for our staff and trainees to use in the Interim Eye Centre and for the staff and patients in our surgical mission to Impfondo. See more at https://www.newsightcongo.com/masks-donation/
Creative ways to teach community health
One of our goals is to reach out to children with health education and eye screening. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our plans for health fairs and screening programs have been delayed. In the spirit of Project Two Front Teeth, we had help from children volunteers as well as adults around the world, to create for school children a magazine with a combination of health promotion (including eye care and dental health), literacy and numeracy activities, and a bible story colouring page. Our team in Congo launched a pilot edition and had it printed, bound and distributed to 4,400 children in seven local schools and three local churches.
Having seen the magazine, the Director of Education for the region was so impressed that he has now asked us to print copies and future editions for all the schools in the region for the next school year.
Speaking at the Li Po Chun UWC Graduation Ceremony
Joyce gave a keynote speech at the Li Po Chun UWC graduation ceremony held on Saturday, 22 May. Streamed live, the ceremony was attended by 256 students from 90 countries, teaching staff, and the UWC board, while the national committees and parents joined online. She spoke about potential, and passion, vision, purpose as push factors to fulfil it, and the need to keep driving forwards.
Birthday and individual fundraising campaigns
Joyce and Cherissa embarked on a mother-and-daughter “Climbing for Sight” fundraising challenge in which they conquered Mount Everest virtually over 30 days in March 2021. They climbed 3,871 flights of stairs (58,065 steps), equivalent to the 8,558-metre target and raised over HK$11,900 (GBP1,107)
Joyce’s parents and several supporters have turned their birthdays into donation campaigns for New Sight. Others also gave through personal fundraising campaigns such as sponsored trail runs and making and selling handcrafted almond butter. Thank you so much! We trust you had lots of fun while making these important contributions!
Feeling better after treatment
There are many instances when we help child patients, it not only affects the child, but the parents who are anxious about them are also helped. This beautiful 3-year-old was suffering from an eye infection and her parents didn’t know what to do to help her. Luckily someone told them about New Sight. They brought her to the clinic and following treatment, she is now all better, to their great relief.
Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2021
Look back at the major achievements we’ve accomplished together over the past year with our latest Annual Report.
Celebrity Face to Face interview
Before the Compassion Award Ceremony in December 2020, Joyce had an interview on the show “Celebrity Face to Face”. Although Joyce feels she is far from being a celebrity, she is thankful for the opportunity to share about her personal faith. As she likes to say, “If there is any good in our lives, it is not because of us, but in spite of us. It is all by the grace of God and all the glory should go to Him”. Watch it here: https://www.newsightcongo.com/celebrity-interview/
Samoutou family back in Ouesso
Having stayed in the UK because of boarding school stops-and-starts and travel restrictions due to COVID, Joyce and the children travelled back safely to Congo at the start of July. They reunited joyfully with Henri who has been continuing eye services. Their long journey included 8 flight booking changes by the airline and two pieces of luggage arriving two days later. Before leaving for their summer holidays, the children were able to celebrate birthdays with Joyce’s parents.
Opening the eyes of the blind through surgery
Henri’s surgical mission trip to the Impfondo Eye Centre at Pioneer Christian Hospital in late May/early June was very fruitful. Henri and Ghislain worked very long hours and managed to complete 22 operations over a 6-day period. Some patients had conditions with complicated pathology. One such patient was Gisèle, whose life has not been easy as she was born deaf and mute, and three years ago became completely blind in both eyes. Her family helped her to travel from Ouesso to Impfondo for a few days to have eye surgery. Her family said after surgery, she seems to have come back to life, and in her follow-up appointment back in Ouesso, she looked happy and renewed. We are so thankful that New Sight was able to help many patients.
Through this letter, we hope that you can see what impact you are making and celebrate the hope we have for a better world. We are so thankful for your partnership, and we look forward to filling the next newsletter with more stories that are the fruit of your support.