Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes - The Chamber's Centenary CSR project

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Bright Eyes is an opportunity for members of the British Chamber of Commerce to adopt a CSR charity project that improves the lives of under-privileged children in rural China.

For almost 10 years, the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai has been improving the educational environment for the children of Lixin County, Anhui Province. Located 700Km northwest of Shanghai, it is one of the poorest regions in east China and many of the students are the children of migrant workers or farmers. As such they have become the forgotten children with regards to education and healthcare.

To date, the Chamber's support has been through the refurbishment of classrooms, supplying new desks, chairs and libraries. For the past two years, the Chamber has focused their support to include eye testing and, where necessary, the supply of prescription glasses.

In rural China many children can go through their entire educational life without having their eyes tested. As a consequence, many children with impaired vision will underperform educationally. Providing prescription glasses to children who need them will greatly improve their chances of a better education and a brighter future; this is ‘Project Bright Eyes'.

What does the project involve?

Working with the Lixin Charity Association (a fully registered NGO) and the local Lixin hospital, and with the full support of the local government, the Chamber has scoped the whole project with the clear aim of member engagement throughout. Using medical equipment provided by the Chamber, the eye testing is conducted by ophthalmic technicians who visit the schools on behalf of the Chamber.

There are 290 primary schools in Lixin County each having approximately 300 students, of which approximately 10% require prescription glasses. The glasses (including lenses, frames and a protective case) last for at least two years and each child is supplied an extra pair to allow for breakages and loss.

What are the benefits of supporting a CSR community project?

More than just a corporate mandate, actively supporting a community project can actually influence a company's bottom line performance. Having a reputation as a caring company can improve staff retention, bolster productivity, enhance shareholder value and build stronger government relations.

Moreover, this specific project provided the children with an improved education, allowing them to provide better for their families in the future and help break the cycle of poverty.

Whilst the Bright Eyes project aims to correct impaired vision, engagement by your staff with the children of the school also open their eyes to a brighter future!

The Story...

Visited 36 schools
Tested the eyesight of over 11,000 children and teachers
Donated over 2,300 pairs of glasses (each person receives two pairs)
Been supported by volunteers from 20 member companies

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