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YouWriteOn is very pleased to announce that we will donate 10% of publishing profits from books bought by readers to charity, beginning with the charity Sightsavers. Thanks to site writers, we have already funded 15 operations to give sight back to people who cannot see.
Sightsavers is a great charity, and it is their overwhelming statistic that 75% of the 37 million people in the world who are blind could be cured or prevented that has led to supporters such as Joanna Lumley and actress Debra Winger to become involved with or ambassadors for Sightsavers.
For something that can be taken for granted, the ability to see, we think this is an excellent cause to begin with for a site for writers and readers. We would like to thank the huge number of writers who have signed up to publish through YouWriteOn, who have made this involvement possible. We believe that from those who have contacted us to say they have lots of readers interested in buying their books, that their stories will be enjoyed by readers and also over time help people around the world who may never have been able to see to read a book, through the efforts of Sightsavers.
Working with partners last year, Sightsavers helped to:
Sightsavers Supporters - Details from the Sightsavers Site
Joanna traveled to to meet children being helped by Sightsavers' child cataract campaign © Jenny Matthews / Sightsavers
The model turned actress Joanna Lumley contacted us in 1997, touched by a Sightsavers appeal she had seen in a newspaper: "Learning the staggering statistic that 75% of the world's blindness is avoidable or curable, I knew I had to get involved," she said.
In 2005 Joanna jumped at the chance to see the Bangladesh Child Cataract Campaign in action, which aims to cure 10,000 children of blindness by 2009. Being born in Kashmir, and India being home for generations on both sides of her family, meant she felt quite comfortable in Bangladesh, and was grateful for the opportunity to get involved in a project that changes lives in a developing country such as this.
After witnessing a cataract operation on five year-old Arif, Joanna was invited to remove his bandages, and looked on as he saw his mother for the first time. "I can't image a more moving or humbling experience than witnessing a child being able to see for the first time in their life," she said of the experience.
Joanna began her career as a model, but soon turned her talents to acting, making her silver screen debut in 'Some Girls Do' in 1968. A string of TV and film work followed, including 'Steptoe and Son' and 'Coronation Street,' but she is perhaps best known for her role as the high-kicking Purdey in 24 episodes of the 'New Avengers,' and, most famously of all, the nation's favourite gin swilling socialite Patsy from 'Absolutely Fabulous' - a role that won her a BAFTA in 2000.