Standard Chartered Taiwan's "Seeing is Believing" charity campaign raised close to NT$1.3 million for ORBIS Taiwan, the bank announced recently.
On December 10, the bank invited visually-impaired individuals, residents from the Minsheng community, and bank employees to the ORBIS Flying Hospital - the world's only flying eye hospital - at Taipei's Sungshan Airport. The tour inspired the participants to realize the importance of sight-protection and sight-saving projects, the bank said.
Last year, Standard Chartered Bank announced a three-year plan that aims to raise funds for one million sight restorations by the end of 2006. In Taiwan, the financial institution had reached out to the community, and held a "Seeing is Believing" charity campaign in September. The project was able to raise NT$1.28 million for ORBIS Taiwan.
Standard Chartered strives to eliminate avoidable blindness in the world, the bank said. In Taiwan, the bank even sponsored the first visually-impaired running team to the Greatest Race on Earth - a four-country marathon that will test the endurance and determination of even the most seasoned of runners.
Taiwan's visually-impaired team is comprised of Chang Kai-liang, Lai Chih-chieh, Chen Ming-hsien, and Chang Wen-yen. The team is competing in Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai, and Hong Kong.
The bank hopes that such event will encourage more sight-impaired individuals to challenge themselves and prove that "seeing is believing," Standard Chartered said. According to the bank, over 45 million people in the world are sight-impaired. Nine out of 10 of those individuals live in developing countries where the bank has a presence.
"Our visually-impaired team makes Taiwan very proud since only a couple of other countries are sending VI teams abroad. All four athletes from Taiwan are even participating in the full 42.195-kilometer marathon," said Roland Teo, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank in Taiwan.
Standard Chartered has long been advocating sight-restoration programs in the country. Last year, the bank hosted an outdoor charity music concert, and invited hundreds of students from the Taipei Municipal Chiming School for the Blind to "listen" to the heartwarming film, "Quill."