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Professor Muhammad Yunus and The Green Children to Open First Grameen Eye Hospital in Bangladesh on May 12, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008 General News J E 4
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DHAKA, Bangladesh, May 2 The first Grameen Green ChildrenEye Hospital, projected to perform 50,000 eye examinations and 10,000 cataractoperations annually, will be opened by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureateProfessor Muhammad Yunus and the Hon'ble Adviser, Incharge of Ministry ofHealth and Family Welfare, Bangladesh at 4:00 PM on Monday, May 12.

The international pop music duo Milla Sunde and Tom Bevan of The GreenChildren raised $500,000 from donations and CD/DVD sales for the first eyehospital in Bangladesh. The two highly talented musicians are committed toworking to raise funds for a second eye hospital that will require a total ofabout $1 million to complete.

The Grameen Green Children Eye Hospitals, modeled after the highlysuccessful Aravind eye hospitals in India, will be structured as socialbusiness enterprises described in the new book by Professor Yunus, Creating aWorld Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. TheAravind system in India currently does 1.7 million examinations and 250,000operations a year.

Once the first eye hospital fully operational, it will work to becomeself-sustaining gradually and perform a projected 50,000 eye examinations and10,000 cataract operations per year.

Both hospitals will charge patients based on their ability to pay, withwealthier clients charged at a normal rate and the poor at subsidized.Everyone will receive the same high-quality treatment. While all patients willbe expected to pay something, no one will be denied care. Those with no fundswill be asked to pay later, when they can and at free of charge in extremecases.

The key to the success of the model is a system that delivers very highquality and standard eye care services at an affordable cost by using highvolume and having highly trained technicians doing most of the examination andpreparation work so that ophthalmologists can focus on the operations. Themodel has been so successful in India that representatives of some of theleading medical schools in the United States have visited Aravind to bringsome of the lessons learned back home.

A rising international band, The Green Children recently signed to theworld's largest music label, Universal Music Group. The duo comprises MillaSunde from Norway and Tom Bevan from England. Their debut record withUniversal Records will be launched later this year. In addition to theirflourishing music career, Tom and Milla have been working for several yearswith the foundation they jointly established.

The Green Children Foundation supports microcredit, education andhealthcare and is focused on engaging young people in supporting positive andeffective solutions to conquer world poverty. For further information, pleasevisit http://www.thegreenchildren.org.

In 2006, The Green Children made their second trip to Bangladesh to film amusic video for their song "Hear Me Now," which tells the story of asuccessful women borrower of Grameen Bank. This video has been used infundraising for the eye hospitals and will receive a world wide release laterthis year.

Grameen Bank, and the concept and methodology of microcredit that it haselaborated through its 30 years of work, have contributed to enhancing thechances of peace by reducing poverty. Grameen Bank Project was founded byProfessor Yunus in the village of Jobra, Bangladesh, in 1976. In 1983 it wastransformed into a formal bank under a special law passed for its creation. Itis owned by the poor borrowers of the bank who are mostly women. It worksexclusively for them. Borrowers of Grameen Bank at present own 94 per cent ofthe total equity of the bank. Remaining 6 percent is owned by the government.Dr. Yunus and the Grameen Bank jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo,Norway, in December 2006.

SOURCE The Green Children Foundation
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