7 October 2015

A Standard Chartered charity auction and gala dinner was held on the 7th October 2015, the eve of World Sight Day, at the W Hotel in Doha. The event raised QAR245,000 towards helping eliminate avoidable blindness.

The annual gathering brought together sponsors and supporters of Seeing is Believing, with the event graced by Her Royal Highness, Princess Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as well as several corporate dignitaries. The occasion also saw a number of artworks donated by local artists, including Ali Al-Mulla, Dana Al Safar and Amal Al Jaber, that were created around the effects of blindness, particularly in children. The music department of Park House English School performed ensemble pieces on the piano and violin for the evening’s entertainment.

Her Royal Highness, Princess Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is a patron of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight. The Countess praised the Bank’s efforts in raising awareness on avoidable blindness and urged members to visit one of the several projects that Standard Chartered had been involved in across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Speaking at the event, she said, “I have seen sight being restored and I can promise you there are few things more rewarding in this world than seeing someone step from the dark into the light.”

In his address at the event, Standard Chartered Qatar Chief Executive Officer Charles Carlson said the aim of the Seeing is Believing initiative was to raise USD100 million by 2020. “Our aim is to raise this money for projects to tackle avoidable blindness, working in partnership with leading eye care and non-governmental organisations. We have crossed USD82 million so far, and this would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors.”

Charles Carlson also thanked the sponsors of the charity at the event – AlFardan, The Almana Group, The Jaidah Group, Qatar Building Company, Mannai, CDC and QBBF.