Newport Beach, March 10, 1997: Dr. Richard Weiss announced today that Sally Anderson, Director of Development at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, has joined the ranks of the One World
Sight Project (OWSP), a non-profit organization dedicated
to raising funds for blindness prevention and treatment activities by means of coordinated international concert telethons.
According to Richard Weiss, M.D.,
OWSP President and Founder, the project was envisioned as
an international funding effort to encourage new initiatives for the establishment of independent, effective, sustainable national ophthalmic health care delivery systems in all nations by working closely with the Blindness Prevention Program of the World Health Organization.
OWSP does not intend to be program
oriented, but plans to support the ongoing efforts of existing eye care organizations with proven track records.
International surgery planned
One idea that has appealed to the entertainment industry is that OWSP sponsored organizations intend to provide sight to thousands of people in many countries around the world, simultaneous with the initial fund-raising efforts.
Encouraged by Mandela
President Nelson Mandela, whom Dr. Weiss met while in Johannesburg where he performed a delicate reconstructive eyelid procedure on the President, recently encouraged Weiss in his efforts. Mandela was impressed with the international cooperative aspects of the project. As a result, OWSP is attempting to support a joint eye care development effort between South Africa and neighboring Mozambique, one of the poorest African nations in eye care resources.
Stevie Wonder a Special Advisor
Stevie Wonder joined OWSP soon after listening to “One Spirit”, Weiss’ song that
inspired him to create the project. Mr. Wonder also was invited to participate via a taped message from the floor of the 1990 International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness meeting in Nairobi. Another early advisor, Dr. Bjorn Thylefors, Programme Manager of the Blindness Prevention Programme in Geneva, delivered this message. Weiss states that “Mr. Wonder’s nominal involvement has helped tremendously as we have been carefully developing our fund-raising plans”.
Multiple telethons planned
Although plans have not been finalized, Weiss reports that he has recently been exploring several different telethon and concert options with the executive producer of the Berlin Wall concert and the concert for the Kurds. “It has been quite an education,” says Weiss. “The most exciting thing to me is how far we’ve come and how close we are to being able to mobilize this type of effort.”
Seeking ophthalmic sponsorship
At this point some money is in place
but Weiss says that additional funds are needed for seed money in order to produce and promote the events.