Heroes of Orbis: Sahos Mostafiz

Meet Sahos Mostafiz, our Communication, Media, and Advocacy Specialist, from Dhaka, Bangladesh. An incredible asset to Orbis, and the wider eyecare community, this forward-thinking comms supremo goes above and beyond to promote eye health to both global and local audiences.

Sahos Mostafiz, Communications, Media and Advocacy Specialist for Orbis Bangladesh, outside of the Flying Eye Hospital

Sahos saw the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital for the first time in Hong Kong.

Sahos' communications skills were nurtured from a young age. During his childhood, he helped his father—a prominent cultural figure and musician in Bangladesh—prepare press releases and writing materials, organize shows and events, and undertake research. After gaining his bachelor's degree and master's degree in communication and media studies from the University of Dhaka, he stayed on to teach as a faculty member.

Four years later, he joined a national Bangla newspaper as a Fact Check Specialist which helped open doors to a long-term career in global development comms. Shortly after, he was communication and advocacy manager for a national NGO supporting migrant workers. Through these experiences, he developed his digital, SEO, photography, and videography skills for impactful storytelling—skills he proudly shares with colleagues at Orbis.

Sahos Mostafiz speaking at a policy forum 'Let's Talk on Energy and Finance' hosted by Young Bangla in Bangladesh.

Sahos moderates a policy forum 'Let's Talk on Energy and Finance' hosted by Young Bangla in Bangladesh.

Sahos has been an instrumental figure in the eye care community for two years and is looking forward to leading the comms on the forthcoming Flying Eye Hospital project in Bangladesh in November this year. Having just visited the Flying Eye Hospital for the first time during a recent awareness-raising project in Hong Kong, he can’t wait for the plane to touch down in his home country.

Sahos says: “I’m very excited about the Flying Eye Hospital visiting Bangladesh later in 2024 and have been busy preparing the communication program ahead of its arrival. I learned very early on that Orbis is one of the pioneers in pediatric eye care in Bangladesh. We established treatment for retinopathy of prematurity in Bangladesh and supported many hospitals with pediatric treatments. We are the pioneers in eye care in Cox's Bazar Rohingya camp. The upcoming Flying Eye Hospital project will help us strengthen the skills of our local eye health teams.”

Sahos Mostafiz meets the children in Cox's Bazaar which shelters the displaced Rohingya community

Sahos meets the children in Cox's Bazaar which shelters the displaced Rohingya community.

In Sahos’s world of work, no two days are the same. He covers a wide variety of Orbis projects, sharing stories from our women-led green vision centers to the Rohingya community and tea garden workers in the Sylhet region. As the sole person managing communications, media, and advocacy for Orbis Bangladesh, Sahos has built strong relationships with 26 strategic partners and particularly enjoys collaborating with his global communications colleagues, sharing content ideas to make a huge impact.

Throughout his role, Sahos has uncovered the stories of many patients experiencing vision problems like cataracts, strabismus, glaucoma, and refractive errors. One patient he says that has made a big impression on him was a young refugee called Rafes who lives with his other blind siblings in a refugee camp. He has bilateral cataracts and thanks to Sahos’s compassion and support coupled with that of the wonderful Orbis community, he will soon receive his second surgery to restore his vision.

Sahos adds: "His situation in the refugee camp was very unfortunate. He needed help, so I stepped in to help him arrange his 200km trip to Chattogram hospital for surgery. I met him after he had successful surgery on his right eye. He was very happy. Now he's waiting to have surgery on his left eye to restore his vision completely."

Another highlight for him was building trust with tea garden workers during a pilot eye health project. Initially, the tea garden workers were too shy to speak to him, but after Sahos made them feel at ease, they were happy to share their stories on camera. One tea garden worker tried on her glasses for the first time and screamed with joy at being able to see properly, and thanked Sahos by placing her hand on his head saying, “Without you, I couldn’t see again.”

Sahos says: “Building trust, adapting their language, adapting to their culture. You cannot be the person who seems to be impersonal to them. You have to be empathetic.”

Sahos Mostafiz speaks with tea plantation workers in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh

When his feet aren't under the desk, Sahos enjoys singing. He grew up in a musical family playing the pianica and melodica and performed in a theatrical folk band with 500 concerts to his name and a YouTube video that has amassed over 1 million views. Music is still very much part of his life today and he finds that it is a useful way to connect with Orbis partners when they discover his hidden musical talents.

A huge thank you to Sahos for his passion and dedication to sharing Orbis's mission and vision with the world and helping the people of Bangladesh see a brighter future!

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