WEO 8th Anniversary Summary dated 18th December 2007
18 December 2007
Dear Friends of WEO,
Greetings from Hong Kong! To-day is the 8th Anniversary of WEO – I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and encouragement throughout these years. I would also like to take this opportunity to report to you the highlight of this year's WEO activities.
First and foremost, on July 7, we established the “Torsten Wiesel Research Institute” (TWI) at the WEO West China Medical University Centre. TWI was established in honor of my beloved Harvard mentor, Nobel Laureate Professor Torsten Wiesel. TWI’s mission is to further understand the structure and function of the human visual system in its normal and diseased states, so that novel methods might be discovered for the prevention and treatment of these disorders through biomedical research. Professor Wiesel is the Chairman, President Shi Ying-Kang of West China Medical University (WCMU) and I are Honorary Directors. Professor Liu Xuyang who recently returned from U.S. is the Director of TWI. Professors Ju Gong from Xian and So Kwok-Fai from Hong Kong, both members of the Chinese Academy of Science, as well as Professor Paul Kaufman from U.S. , are among TWI’s Advisors. The initial funding for TWI is supported equally by WEO and WCMU. Last year, WEO established an eye centre at West China Medical University, which has one of the most distinguished ophthalmology departments in China. Professor Wiesel plans to visit TWI at least once or twice a year, and I would be there at least every two months to support its research programs. We are hopeful that TWI will become an important eye institute in the near future.
Secondly, on October 10, we established WEO’s fourth eye centre in Heilongjiang, China’s most Northeastern province bordering Russia. WEO Dr. Lee Shau Kee Eye Centre at Heilongjiang, named in honor of Dr. Lee Shau Kee of Hong Kong, who has continually supported WEO for the past few years. This eye centre will help to prevent and treat eye diseases among the poor in Northeastern China through clinical and training programs.
To-date, WEO has strategically positioned its eye centres in Central (Xian), Northwest (Xinjiang Province), Southwest (Sichuan Province), and Northeast (Heilongjiang Province). WEO’s latest eye centre is scheduled to be established in Southeastern China (probably in Swatow where I was born) within a few months. At least two other WEO eye centres are planned for 2008, in Tibet and possibly in Inner Mongolia.
Thirdly, according to the estimate by Professor Zhao Jialiang, WEO’s Senior Advisor and Chairman of China Ophthalmological Association, because of the aging Chinese population, there are approximately 100 million presbyopic people who cannot even read a newspaper unaided by eye-glasses. Many of these people are poor and live in rural areas where these glasses are not easily available. Through effective bargaining and kind cooperation from eye-glass manufacturers and suppliers, WEO is able to purchase presbyopic glasses of good quality for about US$0.40 per pair. WEO is currently doing a pilot project led by its West China Centre in Chengdu to test the feasibility and logistics of distributing these glasses in villages through a model pioneered by WEO’s advisor Dr. Percy Barnevik, founder of Hand-in-Hand operation.
Fourthly, WEO continues to host its “Bliss of Vision” art exhibitions to promote to the public and government the importance of healthy eye-sight. The 9th in this series opened at Lee Gardens in Hong Kong on 4 January 2007. The 10th opened at the Beijing's Imperial City Art Museum on 26 May 2007. In addition, five of my paintings were auctioned at Christie’s Hong Kong and Beijing this year for over HK$1 million. Christie’s was also very gracious in including a page about WEO in its catalogues. In total, the sales of my paintings have generated over HK$2.5 million for WEO this year.
Another important cultural highlight is that WEO now has its own Theme Song entitled “光明行” (A Journey of Light), written by Jaycee Chan and sung by Jaycee and his famous father Dr. Jackie Chan (成龍博士), Chairman of WEO’s Advisory Board. This wonderful and touching song has been broadcasted on CCTV (Central China Television). You are invited to listen to it on WEO’s website www.worldeye.org. Additionally, my dear friend, Simon Yam, a famous actor, and Jaycee are now WEO’s Ambassadors of Light (光明大使).
Lastly, on behalf of WEO, I would like to express my gratitude especially to Dr. Lee Shau Kee, Mr. Vincent Cheng, Ms. Winnie Fok, Mr. Mounir Guen, Mr. Richard Hung, Mr. Alexander Law, as well as UBS, Global Beauty International and Lane Crawford for their most generous support and contributions to WEO this year.
I also take this opportunity to wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a most happy, healthy and prosperous 2008!
With my best regards,
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