TV presenter Síle Seoige was joined by a group of 'dainty doctors and mini-medics' in the heart of Galway city to help launch Sightsavers' new Missed Moment campaign.
The campaign, which is supported by Supermac’s, will be taking place in the city from August 10 to 24 and wants to engage the people of Galway by having them consider the moment they would miss most from their life if they were to suffer from visual impairment.
Missed Moments is seeking to save the sight of 250,000 people living in some of the world’s poorest countries and protect them from a lifetime of missed moments, the equivalent of the population of Galway city and county.
Missed Moments features technology that has never been seen before like the innovative and interactive digital pod in Eyre Square Shopping Centre, the first time one has been used in Ireland. Donors can tap a debit or credit card to donate €2 and instantly see how their simple action and small gift helps to give a real person back their sight.
A short video introduces them to someone living with visual impairment and seeking a sight saving operation, then they are immersed in the journey from darkness to sight, ending with the moment the bandages are removed and he/she can see again.
Speaking about the campaign Síle Seoige said she was impressed with Sightsavers Missed Moments campaign. "As a proud Galwegian it is great to see that a campaign of this kind is coming to our city, and Ireland, for the first time. I am a firm believer in living healthily and it is important we keep on top of our eye health. My Missed Moment would definitely be seeing the face of my little boy Cathal. I could not imagine not seeing his gorgeous face every day.”
Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s said it came as no surprise to learn Galway was the home of some of the charity’s most generous and committed supporters, who have helped saved the sight of millions of people in developing countries over the years.
“ I expect the Missed Moments campaign will be a great success and am looking forward to donating at the digital pod and see how my €2 can help.”
Elsewhere the campaign will feature digital advertising billboards around Eyre Square featuring iconic moments from Galway history and culture which will encourage Galwegians to reflect on the moments they might have missed in their lives due to preventable sight loss.
Emma Kilkenny Wilson, head of individual giving fundraising and marketing Sightsavers Ireland, says Galwegians have always been stong supporters of the work of Sightsavers.
“Many of us take our sight for granted so we hope by using this innovative technology which allows people see first-hand and instantly how their simple action of donating can give a real person their sight back, that people will pause for a moment and reflect on how important their sight is. We are asking the people of Galway to donate to help provide a sight-saving operation, or deliver treatments.”
A staggering 253 million people around the world are visually impaired, of whom 36 million are living with blindness. A sad and startling fact that 75 per cent of this is avoidable.
A little donation can go such a long way in a developing country - just 17 cent can protect someone against the blinding and painful disease trachoma, while €32 pays for a cataract operation to restore someone’s sight and freedom. A sum of €12,500 would allow Sightsavers to provide a river blindness treatment to 250,000 people, while €42,500 would provide a trachoma treatment to 250,000 people, both the equivalent to protecting the whole population of Galway city and county.
For more information visit www.sightsavers.ie/missedmoments