Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI) is a tertiary eye care hospital in OBAK, Lekie Division in Centre Region of Cameroon. MICEI was launched on March 29, 2017. Seeing is Believing is funding a program in MICEI with major milestone being performing 4000 cataract surgeries among the poor and marginalized population of the Centre Region of Cameroon.
Outreach camps are one of the strategies put in place to attain this milestone. MICEI organises two Outreaches per week. On 1st December 2017, some nine staff from Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon attended an Outreach Screening Camp organized by MICEI in the locality of AKONOLINGA; some 150km from the base hospital.
What has been the benefit to the project/to your organisation of bank volunteering?
The presence of Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon staff at the Outreach camp on December 1, 2017 was beneficial to the project in that:
- It speed up screening during the camp since manpower increased
- It boosted the morale of the project team on site
- It portrayed to the community (local administrative and traditional authorities, Key Informants, health workers etc) that MICEI is been accompanied by a well-known and reputable entity in addressing visual impairment; hence the need to collaborate and make much out of the opportunity offered.
- Created a sense of service, dedication and volunteering in MICEI outreach staff and the key informants present at the camp.
- It was an opportunity for MICEI staff to be in contact with staff of the funding organization of outreach activities.
What has been the value to the Standard Chartered Bank for staff volunteering?
The value to Standard Chartered Bank for staff volunteering is that:
- It brought much visibility to the bank. Some people got to know of Standard Chartered Bank for their first time in remote areas of the country.
- It revealed to the public that Standard Chartered Bank has Corporate Social Responsibilities towards the society and is actively involved in addressing visual impairments.
- Apart from the funds put into the project by the bank through Seeing is Believing, it also gave the bank the opportunity to be directly involved in the field and to interact with staff of the organization implementing the activities funded by their bank.
Some Quotes from SCB staff at the camp
“I really appreciated the opportunity given to me by SIB and MICEI to learn more about others experience and spend time assisting less privilege people in our communities. It help me have another view of life, by discovering the challenges related to sight”.
“SIB outreach was fantastic. Though I felt sad to see people cannot afford 10$ for eyes glasses”.
“I was impressed by the Humanism, professionalism, availability and team spirit demonstrated by MICEI staff led by Dr Henry”.
“It was a great opportunity for me to give back my time and energy to serve elderly people living in our community. I felt privileged to assist people who most of the times cannot afford to reach the nearest eye care centre and unfortunately, lost either partially or totally their sight. Thanks to SIB and MICEI, we brought awareness, hope and treatment to others. I pledge to do more outreaches in 2018”.
Dr Claude AKAKPO
Administrative Hospital Director