Sightsavers supporters raise €90,000 through Arctic expedition

May 2023
Participants on the First Light for Sight Arctic expedition poses for a group photo while wearing skis.
Fundraisers for Sightsavers Ireland celebrated seeing the first sunrise of the new year in the Arctic.

A team of Irish fundraisers who took part in the First Light for Sight Arctic challenge has raised more than €90,000 for Sightsavers Ireland.

In January, 14 fundraisers travelled from Ireland to Finland where they trekked across the Arctic Circle in sub-zero conditions to raise money for Sightsavers’ eye health work. The money raised by the team will help provide more than 2,800 cataract operations for people living in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The First Light for Sight Arctic challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the Arctic and see the first sunrise of the year after months of polar night. Fundraisers spent months training and raising money in the lead-up to the trip.

Led by our partner, which focuses on sustainable adventure challenges, the team spent three days at a base camp in Finland where they learned Arctic survival skills, including how to keep warm in extreme temperatures and use snow for insulation, map ordnance, cross-country skiing and pulk-sled pulling.

During the 36-hour challenge, the fundraisers travelled across frozen lakes and mountains on cross-country skis to reach an off-grid cabin. At the cabin, the group worked together to cut firewood and melt snow for water and food. The next morning they travelled to a viewing point from where they watched the sunrise.

If you’re interested in joining the First Light for Sight challenge in 2024, please contact [email protected].

A long line of people using skis trek across a frozen landscape. In the background, the sun is setting over some fir trees.

First Light for Sight

The expedition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for adventurous Sightsavers supporters to visit the Arctic Circle and experience the first sunrise of the new year.

About the expedition

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