Currently 43 million people around the world are blind and 1.1 billion live with some form of vision loss. About 90 per cent of those affected live in low-income and middle-income countries, and most cannot get the care they need.
The problem is aggravated by the spread of COVID-19. The economic downturn has made it even harder for visually impaired and blind patients to afford simple operations and treatments.
Grace from Kenya was hit in the eye by a rock when she was a child. The trauma caused a blinding cataract in that eye. It left her struggling to provide for her three children.
But the hardest part of her life was knowing that her 7-year-old son Nicholas was blind too.
Grace couldn’t see well enough to protect Nicholas and was anxious for his future. His body is scarred from accidents and falls. He even disappeared one day, and Grace suspected the worst.
Luckily, Nicholas was found by a teacher and brought home unharmed. He had followed other children to school because he wanted to be just like them. But the teacher told Grace that he couldn’t learn – he was blind.
There are no local eye health services and the eye hospital that treats children is far away. Trapped by poverty and distance, Grace used to pray every night for a miracle to save Nicholas.
No matter how hard she worked, Grace couldn’t afford the surgery Nicholas needed to stop him being blind forever. Then someone like you answered her prayers.
Your gifts help us train eye health ambassadors who visit remote areas in Kenya, like the village where Grace lives.
One of these ambassadors told Grace that supporters of The Foundation would pay for Nicholas’ eye surgery. And that they would help her too.