Abe Bailey bursar in 2010 from the University of the Free State
I have diarised the Abe Farewell Dinner and I look forward to seeing you again in November :). This year has been off to a great start - I founded a charitable trust called the For Sight Trust. In March we had our first outreach where we tested 20 people's eyes and last week we handed out spectacles to 11 of these people, who do not have the necessary access and funds to primary eye health services. We have scheduled another outreach for June :). This NGO is something I'm very proud of as I've always wanted to be in a position where I am able to utilise the skills and knowledge I've gained through the opportunities I've been fortunate to receive in life.
Being selected as an Abe Bailey Fellow has played a massive part in getting this NGO started. Visiting Cambridge and Oxford opened my eyes to the possibility of studying overseas which motivated me to apply for a Chevening Scholarship to study a Master's Degree in Public Health at the University of Southampton. This in turn resulted in me doing a Health Needs Assessment for my Dissertation to inform the development of an intervention strategy aimed at reducing refractive error visual impairment in Cape Town specifically, and the rest is history.
I am particularly looking forward to the 2020 Farewell Dinner when it will be my group's 10 year reunion - I can't believe how time flies! I am going to try my best to get as many as possible of the 2010 Abe group to attend.