Collection Sightsavers


Films from the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind/Sightsavers about their medical and fundraising activities including medical care, special projects in developing nations and fundraising promotions on television. The collection dates from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Collection ID1123Reference codeWS 091130
Dates1960s - 1990s
ProductionRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
MaterialsFILM 16mm Video Documentation
Access statusContact Screen Archive South East for details


Sightsavers was originally known as the British Empire Society for the Blind (BESB), later becoming the Commonwealth Society for the Blind (RCSB) in the late 1950s. The name Sighsavers was adopted after the successful BBC Blue Peter appeal of the same name in 1986. The charity has been based in Haywards Heath, West Sussex since its inception, employing the majority of its UK staff from Sussex.

For 50 years Sightsavers has been restoring sight and improving the lives of people who are blind in developing countries around the world. Founded in 1950 by Sir John Wilson (CBE), with the express aim of restoring sight, wherever possible, in Commonwealth countries. Today, Sightsavers works with partners in over 30 countries, expanding its mission to also provide services to the blind and campaign for the eradication of needless blindness.

Film has played an important part in Sightsavers' history. Since its early years, the charity has recognised the way the medium can effectively communicate its work to potential supporters, producing unique films which show life in parts of the world which many people at the time, would never had seen before. This collection includes footage of groundbreaking research in to the causes of blindness by several international eye specialists, doctors and surgeons as well as documentary evidence of the treatment, training and rehabilitation programmes in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. A film made for the BBC's Blue Peter Appeal in 1986 is also part of the archive's collection.

Films in this collection:

Showing 16 to 20 of 20 results.

Showing 16 to 20 of 20 results.