A timeline of Orbis events

Here is a sampling of the major events that have shaped Orbis:

  • 1973 – Project Orbis International is incorporated in the state of New York as a non-profit organization.
  • 1982 – Orbis launches the DC-8 Flying Eye Hospital. Inaugural flight went from Houston to Panama.
  • 1991 – Orbis receives $14M donation to buy a DC-10 to replace the DC-8 Flying Eye Hospital
  • 1993 – The DC-8 Flying Eye Hospital visits the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as the countries of Lithuania, Romania and Albania.
  • 1993 – Mother Theresa visits the Flying Eye Hospital in Calcutta and officially opens the Orbis surgical program by blessing the medical team for their sight saving efforts
  • 1994 – The DC-10 conducts it first sight-saving program in China
  • 1997 – Orbis registers as a charity in the UK
  • 1998 – Orbis opens its first permanent country office in Ethiopia
  • 1998 – Orbis launches Child Blindness Initiative
  • Orbis and several other NGOs launch Vision 2020 (Orbis is a founding member)
  • 1999 – Orbis opens country offices in India, Bangladesh and China
  • 1999 – Orbis signs the agreement to open the National Eye Bank of Ethiopia – the first and only eye bank in East Africa
  • 2000 – Orbis opens a permanent country office in Vietnam
  • 2001 – Orbis begins supporting Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Complex
  • 2002 – Orbis launches Cybersight as an on-line learning platform to link eye care professionals with Orbis volunteer mentors
  • 2003 – Orbis opens a fundraising affiliate in Taipei – Orbis Taiwan
  • 2005 – Orbis establishes its first long-term program in Tanzania. Cybersight is now active in 31 countries.
  • 2006 – Orbis FEH visits Vietnam for the first time (Da Nang Eye Hospital) to provide training to Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian eye care teams
  • 2006 – Orbis opens a fundraising affiliate in Dublin – Orbis Ireland
  • 2007 – Orbis celebrates 25th anniversary of the first sight-saving program
  • 2007 – Orbis opens a fundraising affiliate in Toronto – Orbis Canada
  • 2008 – Orbis opens a fundraising affiliate in Macau – Orbis Macau
  • 2010 – Orbis opens a branch in Cape Town – Orbis Africa
  • 2013 – Orbis opens a fundraising affiliate in Singapore – Orbis Singapore
  • 2013 – Orbis opens a fundraising affiliate in Cape Town
  • 2016 – Orbis International ends the Orbis Taiwan affiliation
  • 2016 – Orbis launches the third-generation Flying Eye Hospital