Happy New Home to Our Eye Centre and Training School!
New Sight News – March 2021
At the start of this year, where many challenges remain, we hope that wherever you are in the world, you are safe and at peace. In Congo, we are thankful that so far cases of COVID-19 remain low and many restrictions have been lifted. We are particularly relieved that the government has allowed the new school term to start after only a short delay in January. Having said that, the state of health emergency remains. More worryingly, the impact of the decline in global economy is palpable. Needless to say, when the world suffers, those who are most needy and vulnerable tend to suffer the most. COVID has not slowed us down at all. On the contrary, the increasingly desperate needs have propelled us to work harder than ever! We continue to work with extra precautions in our eye centre as we look for ways to overcome the new challenges in the new normal. We are amazed how in spite of all the difficulties, with your faithful support, New Sight continues to grow! Read on to find out more about all the exciting progress!
Exciting news – we have a new home!
Since July 2019, we have been using rooms within a government health centre to house our eye centre, offered free to us by the Minister of Health. However, in November 2020 the government needed the building back, and we were requested to move out. It is usually difficult to find suitable buildings in Ouesso, therefore we were beyond thrilled to find a fantastic, newly built compound. We are now renting this space to run the eye centre and provide eye care to Ouesso until our own hospital has been built. The surroundings are calm and peaceful. The size of the reception area has doubled, allowing us to receive more patients. It is even big enough to house both the eye centre and the classroom together, which greatly facilitates the students’ training. And the most exciting part? Unlike our previous location, we now have running water!
Our ten students continue to learn alongside qualified staff in the eye centre. In December, they received their first report cards as part of their regular review process. We are excited to see their skills, knowledge and confidence grow!
Thank you, Jean Marc and Ruth!
The wonderful Jean Marc and Ruth Dunys completed their mission in Congo in December after more than 18 months of hard work. Ruth set up and ran the school for the missionary kids while Jean Marc worked on administration and training our staff and students. They poured their heart and soul in their work, serving the community through the Ouesso Pioneers’ church planting efforts, offering homework help and supporting local families, as well as running programs for abandoned elderly and children. The skills and experience they brought have been invaluable. Their love, sacrifice and generosity of heart have left an amazing legacy.
Compassion Award Presentation Ceremony
In December, Joyce was honoured to receive the Compassion Award and to attend the presentation ceremony (broadcast on Phoenix TV). Joyce said in her heartfelt speech, ‘This award may have my name on it, but I think it should be scratched off and rewritten as “New Sight Team and Supporters”. Without them, we would be simply wanting to but unable to help. They are the real heroes behind the scenes.’ To you our supporters, our heroes – thank you and congratulations for winning the award!
Here’s an excerpt from the award ceremony, including introductions of Dr Joyce Samoutou-Wong and New Sight Eye Care, and the award presentation: https://www.newsightcongo.com/video-compassion-ceremony/. You can watch from the beginning, or skip ahead to 8:48 for Joyce’s acceptance speech.
Trip to Hong Kong
While in Hong Kong to receive the Compassion Award, Joyce was able to connect with many supporters and friends. She came with the desire to encourage but found herself being refreshed and strengthened by your care and support!
Samoutou family news
Cherissa and Ezra’s UK boarding school had to close and their normal travel arrangements to Congo are no longer possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, Joyce is working from the UK for now in order to look after them while homeschooling Karis. After spending Christmas with the family, Henri had already safely returned to work in Congo. It is painful for the close-knit family to be apart especially when travelling is so difficult. They are comforted by and thankful for your kindness. The kids would like thank you for your support for their Project Two Front Teeth fundraising calendar. The kids also want to say a special thank you to our friends and supporters in places far away from Hong Kong, such as UK and Canada, because international mail has been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions in many places and took our calendars some 6-10 weeks to arrive. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and hope you can feel our love and gratitude to you across the oceans.
The 2021 calendar features African trees – trees are life-giving, just like New Sight! When you display your calendar or share it with friends, you are sharing the message of Two Front Teeth, that children can SEE and help too: https://www.newsightcongo.com/twofrontteeth/. The kids just received a donation to match calendar sales of the year before as well!
Our first Facebook Live
Were you part of our first ever Facebook live? It was a really fun way to connect across the world as Joyce chatted about New Sight and life in Congo, played a game and answered your questions. You can watch it here at: https://www.newsightcongo.com/fblive/
Keep in touch
Have you found us on social media yet? Joyce, Henri and the kids have a new Facebook page @theSamoutous where they would love to share their thoughts and do life with you! Please like and follow our page and don’t forget @newsightcongo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.