FedEx and Orbis: Working Together To Save Sight on World Sight Day

Oct 12, 2023 5:10 PM ET

World Sight Day is Thursday, October 12 – a day to come together and celebrate the achievements of the entire eye health community and raise awareness of the important eye care issues on the horizon. This year, Orbis is focusing on saving the sight of our youngest patients.

We know how important good vision is to help young people make the most out of life. That's why we’re committed to ensuring that no matter where a child is born, they can see the world around them.

And with the help of our caring supporters and partners like FedEx, we can continue to improve the quality of eye care available to children all around the world.

I’m writing this from Lusaka, Zambia where the Flying Eye Hospital team and I are working alongside Orbis Volunteer Faculty to improve the skills and expertise of our dedicated local partners.

These sight-saving projects are always such a thrill; we have some of the most experienced ophthalmologists and technicians from all over the world giving up their free time to share their skills with local eye teams. And of course, none of this would be possible without FedEx who donated the MD-10 aircraft itself.

It’s so great to be back in action after pausing all our in-person patient-focused Flying Eye Hospital projects between 2020 and 2023.

Our first project since the pandemic took place in May this year in Vietnam. Sponsored by FedEx, over 200 eye care professionals from across Vietnam received best-in-class training on board the plane. Nearly 150 children and adults received eye screenings and consultations, and 55 patients received sight-saving surgery.

And this was all thanks to FedEx. But of course, these numbers don’t tell the full human story of what happens on board the plane. When you see a child have her sight restored, and what it means to their family, it is such a moving thing to witness.

Young Han was the first patient on board the plane since the pandemic. The five-year-old had suffered from a drooping eye lid since birth. As a result, she was quiet and subdued and reluctant to play with other kids.

But the courage and strength she showed when she stepped on board the plane was remarkable. She wasn’t fazed at all. Han and her mother had travelled two hours by bike to be there, but it certainly wasn’t a wasted trip. The surgery was successful, and Han can now look forward to a future of healthy sight. When you see the joy on her face, and the love and warmth of her parents, you can’t help but feel grateful to everyone involved.

Of course, FedEx’s support goes well beyond donating the plane. We also benefit from vital aircraft parts, volunteer pilots, mechanical and aviation training; the list goes on and on. We’ve been saving sight together for more than 30 years. If that doesn’t show that FedEx cares, then I don’t know what does.

From myself, everyone at Orbis, and patients like Han, I’d like to say a big thank you to FedEx and its employees. You are helping children and adults around the world see a brighter future.

For World Sight Day 2023 Orbis are asking supporters to send a message of support to children like Han undergoing eye surgery. Visit to find out more.

Maurice Geary is the Director of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. He is a logistics and supply chain specialist with experience in both emergency and post-conflict zones. He has been saving sight with Orbis for more than 8 years.