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Kipar's Joy Kipar's Joy

Kipar's Joy

Every minute, somewhere in the world, a child goes blind. Five-year-old Kipar was one of them. He had bilateral cataract which made him unable to see or to enjoy childhood like other children.

Kipar is from remote Northern Kenya and life there is harsh. When The Fred Hollows Foundation first met Kipar, it hadn’t rained in his township for over 5 years. The nearest water was a 10km walk from the bark and mud hut where Kipar and his family lived. Kipar was always covered with mud and dirt because he couldn’t make it to the water to wash.

His family was a typical family living in poverty in Kenya. With 42% of Kenya’s 22 million people living below the poverty line, the whole family, including children like Kipar, has to work. Everyone has to be productive to survive.

Kipar’s father knew there was something wrong with his son’s eyes from birth. But he didn’t know his blindness could be treated. When he heard there could be hope, the loving father walked 25km in 35 degree heat with his son in search of the eye clinic. Fortunately Kipar was referred to a partner hospital supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation for an operation.

Kipar was operated on by paediatric ophthalmologist, Dr Kibata. He knew that without the operation, Kipar would be completely blind in a few years, or his life might be taken away because of accidents. This is why Dr Kibata sought specialty training supported by The Foundation so he could help more children like Kipar.

The change in Kipar was incredible. When the patches were taken off Kipar’s eyes, the boy immediately grasped his father’s finger to prove that he could see. Kipar looked into the mirror and saw himself for the first time and he was amazed by his face. The next day when Kipar arrived home, he ran into his mother’s arms, somersaulted on tree branches and played with a bow and arrows with his brother.

The Foundation visited Kipar again two years after his operation. Already sever years old, Kipar could not only take care of himself, but kicked a ball and danced like other children. Most importantly, he can help his father to look after the camels which provides income for the family. Not only was the life of Kipar changed, but also his whole family.

It is easy to treat cataract in Hong Kong but it’s not the case in some remote areas of world. Your support enables us to provide quality eye care services in these areas by:
  • Training eye health professionals so that people have better access to eye services
  • Provide community screening to allow early identification of problems and treatments
  • Help children and adults with eye problems to get the needed surgeries and treatments

Restoring sight changes lives. Support us today.