We’re excited to announce that we now have a student club: Youth for Operation Eyesight! This initiative was created by our school committee (run by our Philanthropy team and two enthusiastic volunteers) as a way to educate Calgary youth about our work and provide them with an opportunity to give back to the global community. We now have seven youth groups across six different schools in Calgary.
Sonya Soh, a student at Queen Elizabeth High School, shares her story below. Thank you, Sonya, for your inspiring words and for your club’s dedication to eliminating avoidable blindness!
In the past five months, my peers at Queen Elizabeth High School and I have learned so much through the operation of our own school club, Knights for Sight. Through fun meetings and various events, we’ve not only strengthened our bonds of friendship but have also come to truly sympathize with individuals plagued with vision problems worldwide. This growth in our companionships and compassions would not have been possible without the amazing opportunity Operation Eyesight presented us through their youth committee.
I first began this remarkable journey as a lone, timid student among a crowd of unfamiliar youth in Operation Eyesight’s board room. At this first meeting, I felt intimidated by the task before me: to spread word of Operation Eyesight’s cause and work. How could I, the only student there from Queen Elizabeth High School, possibly make a difference for Operation Eyesight and the millions of people they strive to help?
My first attempt to resolve this was to suggest a fundraising idea to an existing club within my school. They rejected it. I then turned to a more daunting idea: start my own club.
Starting Knights for Sight was not an easy task; with a month of begging my friends to join me, I barely gathered six people. We planned a simple bake sale, then moved on to a unique cataract simulator game and continued on with a couple more food sales. Along the way, Knights for Sight somehow more than doubled in number, and its determination grew beyond my dreams.
To be honest, some part of me still questions whether I have truly made an impact on even a fraction of the people affected by avoidable blindness around the world. But I know my peers and I have tried. We have taken initiative, we have been courageous enough to attempt something we never thought we were capable of attempting, and we have been dedicated.
What exactly Knights for Sight has done for the people suffering from vision problems worldwide, I cannot say in fact. But I sincerely hope we have given these people clean water and the workforce needed to sustain their health and facilities for generations.
In truth, it is possible that those affected by avoidable blindness have done more for the youth of Knights for Sight than we have for them. These people have inspired Operation Eyesight’s work. They have, by extension, made us realize that our daring endeavors are more than worthwhile, as they may bloom into something more magnificent than we could ever have imagined.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sonya. And a big thank you goes out to all the “Knights for Sight” at Queen Elizabeth High School!
To organize a fundraiser at your school (or workplace), visit our website.