December 2018

The Orbis team put on their running shoes and headed back to Addis for the spectacular Great Ethiopian Run.

The team of 57 intrepid runners (and walkers!) joined Orbis from around the world, including Ireland, UK, US, Hong Kong and Dubai, to take part in the iconic race on Sunday 18 November. The group also included two Orbis Ireland board members and 40 employees from five Irish companies.

On the day, over 44,000 people took to the streets of Addis Ababa for Africa’s BIGGEST road race, a challenging 10km run at 10,000ft above sea level. Runners of all ages and fitness levels took part, making it a fantastic event for everyone. A carnival atmosphere took over the city, spurring the crowd forward. The Great Ethiopian Run was established in 2001 by one of the world's greatest long-distance runners, Haile Gebrselassie. The Orbis group were lucky enough to meet the legendary runner in person the night before the run too, with plenty of time for selfies!

“It was like no run I’ve ever ran before! It reminds me of a Carnival more than anything else! Everyone is singing,dancing and truly having a great time. Definitely a highlight of the trip!”

Erica McMullen, AerCap, GER participant 2018

"Taking part in the Great Ethiopian Run in aid of Orbis Ireland was an absolutely amazing experience... Definitely something I would strongly recommend to friends and family and I’m delighted to be an advocate for the life-changing treatment that Orbis works so hard to provide."

Martin McCoy, SMBC Aviation Capital, GER participant 2018

Following the run, the group visited the Orbis projects in southern Ethiopia to see first-hand the impact that their support is having in the region. This was a unique opportunity for Orbis Ireland to share their work with supporters and is always a special time for everyone involved. During the visit, everyone had the chance to witness a 20 minute sight-restoring surgery and visit a local school where the importance of eye-health is promoted.

Over the past ten years Orbis Ireland has raised over €1 million through participating in The Great Ethiopian Run

The trip was even more special this year as Orbis is celebrating 20 years of fighting blindness in Ethiopia. When Orbis registered an office in Addis Ababa in 1998, the country had just 54 ophthalmologists, 42 of whom practiced in Addis Ababa (the capital city). There are now 140 ophthalmologists. Orbis has delivered more than 2.25 million eye screenings and examinations and nearly 25 million medical treatments, including around 170,000 surgeries for adults and 6000 for children.