THE Fred Hollows Foundation – ROTARians ‘down under’ JOINT PARTnerSHIP 2003/4

The Fred Hollows Foundation and Rotarians ‘Down Under’ have formed a joint partnership which embraces our shared commitment to blindness prevention and improving Indigenous literacy levels.

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Rotary Clubs in Australia and New Zealand are invited to be part of this new partnership by raising awareness of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s initiatives and to assist with raising funds for them.

The following information is designed to enable Rotary Clubs and Districts to do this in one simple step. Rotary Clubs and/or individuals planning to take part in the partnership are requested to complete the attached coupon.


Did you know that every 5 seconds someone in the world goes blind yet 80% of the world’s blindness is avoidable? The Fred Hollows Foundation’s vision is of a world where no one is needlessly blind. Its mission is to facilitate comprehensive and quality eye care with a focus on cataract. Our primary audience is disadvantaged people in developing countries.

The Fred Hollows Foundation has worked with local partners in more than 26 different countries in Africa, Asia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific to restore sight to over one million people. The Foundation has also assisted in training more than 750 surgeons worldwide to perform modern cataract surgery.

Future directions include the continuing development of surgical techniques, effective hospital management approaches, local resource mobilisation initiatives and investment into R&D for intraocular lenses and other eye health technologies.


Following Fred Hollows early work with Indigenous people, The Fred Hollows Foundation is committed to advocate for and work with communities to support effective health programs for Indigenous Australians.

There is a critical link between literacy and health. Research shows that people who do not complete secondary school have higher levels of unemployment, poverty and chronic health problems. At present, adult literacy in remote Indigenous communities is only 7% and is decreasing.

The ‘Literacy for Life’ program is part of a wider joint effort between The Fred Hollows Foundation and the Jawoyn Association, who are working together on a range of practical programs to improve the health of the Jawoyn communities in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory.

This is an exciting opportunity for Rotarians to become involved at the very beginning of a literacy program which could form the model for improving literacy in remote Indigenous communities throughout Australia.

The first stage of the ‘Literacy for Life’ program will target young mothers and pre-school infants. Early intervention will give this group the best chance for improved health and the ability to cope at school in a foreign language – English.

Funds will initially support a pre-school education program which will assist in the provision of literacy aids, playgrounds and equipment to help prepare children for school or for learning in English.


Rotary clubs in Australia and NZ are invited to make a one-off donation of AUD or NZD$1000 which can be allocated to either the Literacy for Life program AND/OR to the international blindness prevention program. 

Thereafter, Clubs have the option of making a regular annual pledge which provides The Fred Hollows Foundation with a guaranteed source of income. This is critical for the development of on going, sustainable literacy and eye health programs. (Please note that there is no obligation for ongoing involvement from Rotary Clubs)

Widespread support for these initiatives will enable Rotary Clubs to be part of an effective new partnership with The Fred Hollows Foundation. Rotary International’s support will be formally recognised in all on going promotional campaigns.

Rotarians can also make personal pledges too.

For additional information about The Foundation (including an up-to-date list of projects and activities) please visit

Back to Fred Hollows Page

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