SAVE THE DATE: Our Virtual 10th Birthday Party on 7 April!
New Sight News – March 2022
Can we tell you a little secret? Normally, we love writing to you because we are so excited to share with you the incredible impact that your support is making in the lives of our community. This time, truth be told, we feel somewhat restrained because we know that so many of you are feeling shaken, stressed, and may be battling with a sense of helplessness and even hopelessness. We wondered if you would still want to read about what is happening in our corner of the world when you have so many other important things on your mind. Then it dawned on us that it is precisely because our world, on both personal and global levels, is so troubled that we must write to you now. You see, no matter how challenging our days are in Congo, every time we see the reality of the help and hope that you and we are bringing, our hearts are revived, our faith is restored, and our passion is fanned into flame. As you read, it is our hope that you will likewise be encouraged and renewed. We pray that our stories will act as antidotes to helplessness, hopelessness and uncertainty; we hope that you will see that through your contribution to our work here, how powerful you are, how much hope you bring, and what a future you are securing for so many. But before we dive in to tell you what has been happening, we want to tell you something exciting that is happening soon …
You Are Invited to Our 10th Birthday Party!
Can you believe that New Sight is going to turn 10 years old next month? We’d like to invite you to join our team and the Samoutou family in Congo for amazing stories, virtual birthday toasts and birthday cake, as we have fun and celebrate 10 years of life-changing work together!
Date: Thursday, 7 April 2022, 12:00 PM Congo / 12:00 PM UK / 7:00 PM Hong Kong
Venue: Facebook Live from Ouesso, Republic of Congo
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newsightcongo/
Eye Screenings Well Received by Community
After a two-year delay due to the pandemic, we were delighted to be able to begin a screening and health education programme for our community in December 2021. Over four dates, the team creatively made a large blue tent at four distinct locations around Ouesso and welcomed anyone from the community to turn up and get their eyes checked for free.
The team enjoyed fun training days and worked hard throughout the campaign – from preparation, to event, and to follow-up, learning important skills in teamwork and project management along the way. Through sheer determination, they persevered long hours with hardly any breaks and saw nearly 600 patients over the four dates. Each patient was provided with eye and health education, and had their eyes screened for conditions which can cause sight problems, as well existing issues.
Most of those patients (99.5%) were found to require further eye care and were referred for follow-up at the New Sight Interim Eye Centre – this may involve further investigations and treatment e.g., medicine, glasses, and surgery.
Hear from two English-speaking patients, Jesse and Vincent, who came to our screenings and hear how they waited years for help with sight problems because there was nowhere else to go.
Father and son, both named Mamadou, came to our screening at Ouesso Église Évangélique (Ouesso Evangelical Church) for help with eye problems. We interviewed little 8-year-old Mamadou with a little bit of help from Mamodou Senior.
We are extremely proud of our students and team who rose to the challenge and shone like stars. We want to thank our four venues, the churches that lent us their benches, the crew that built and dismantled our tent, the transportation crew, as well as the local authorities from the Prefet (the governor), the Mayor, and the police, to the Department of Health. To read the full story and watch the videos, please visit: Screening and Health Education Campaign Success!
Let’s welcome Wendy!
We are so blessed to welcome Wendy Ossaga, who has come from Gabon to help our Congo team, chiefly in administrative work for five months. Here is the team celebrating her birthday – she is the one holding the birthday cake – soon after she arrived.
Here is an excerpt from our interview with Wendy:
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and where you are from.
My name is Wendy Ossaga. I am a missionary with a taxation and law degree background, and I have 4 years of experience in a financial company as a manager. I am from Gabon; it is a country located in the west coast of Central Africa.
Gabon, same as Henri Samoutou! How did you meet Henri and Joyce?
From 2016 to 2021, I was volunteering in a charity in Hong Kong, and I met Joyce and Henri Samoutou while attending a conference.
Since Joyce is from Hong Kong, we are curious why you chose to go there?
Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by Chinese culture … When the time came for me to go for missions, the direction was obvious … Hong Kong opened its arms wide to me … Serving the Chinese has been one of my callings and I will do that as much as I can.
To read the full interview, please visit: Interview with Wendy
Introducing the 3rd Issue of the Children’s Magazine
The team has been distributing the third issue of our children’s magazine to schools and churches around Ouesso. At the time of writing, over 7,000 copies of the third issue have already been distributed, and more distribution activities in Ouesso are planned.
Furthermore, the magazines are also being distributed in Brazzaville the capital as well as other provinces such as Likouala and Cuvette. Our team continues to marvel at how well our humble magazines and school presentations are received, and we are working hard on improving the content and distribution for an even bigger impact.
Joyce recently made friends with a family while she was out exercising, who told her they had received the magazines from the school and that they are big fans. She was amazed at how the sisters seem to have memorised the entire contents of the magazine! They must have devoured and read them over and over again!
Sunrise for Sight Calendars Spreading Message of Hope
We would like to thank all our supporters who helped us to raise HKD 87,810 through sales of our beautiful 2022 Sunrise for Sight Calendar as part of our Project Two Front Teeth. We are grateful to everyone who bought the calendars as holiday gifts online, at church, company charity fairs, and school bazaars, and from the Samoutou kids at UK boarding school – and we are thankful to the churches, companies and schools and countless supporters that made this possible. As the message of the Sunrise Calendars says, as surely as the sun rises, we have hope in tomorrow, and we have hope around the world.
One of our favourite annual events is when we get to bless our team members and needy people in the local community with Christmas gifts. This past Christmas we did just that: we visited the prison and the home managed by Catholics sisters for the elderly and children, and gave food, soap, and other practical gifts which will make a real difference.
Visit of Director of Health of La Sangha region
The Director of the Department of Health Dr Kebele Faustin and Collaborator Mr Massamba Jacques visited the Interim Eye Centre in December 2021. We were honoured to have their presence amidst their busy schedules. Henri and Joyce showed them around the eye centre. They were particularly happy to see the lens edger and the capability to make prescription glasses, since normally the orders must be sent from Brazzaville or Pointe Noire abroad to for example, Europe to be manufactured and are unaffordable for most people. We look forward to continuing close partnership with them to bring eyecare services and health education to our community.
Preparation for the Interim Surgical Centre
As work continues for the construction of the Eye Hospital, we are SUPER EXCITED to announce the preparation of our Interim Surgical Centre in Ouesso!!! We have been able to rent a new building next to the Interim Eye Centre and work is nearly finished on fitting it out, with medical equipment being shipped shortly. We see so many patients who need surgical help and cannot wait to meet their needs in Ouesso.
If you are interested in making a special donation toward to these surgical facilities, please visit: Preparing the Interim Surgical Centre
As you can see, amazing new milestones are on the horizon as we enter a new decade in Congo. We very much hope that you will be able to come to our 10th birthday party so that we can celebrate as a team all the lives we have transformed together and start our next 10 years with lots of fun, joy and yes, hope.
Thank you so much for your faithful and generous support.