Help a Child See this Christmas
Christmas is coming closer every day. If you’re anything like us here at Orbis, you’ll already be looking forward to seeing family and friends throughout the festive season. But for so many children in countries across the world, it’ll take a miracle to make that happen.
Too many children won’t see anything at all this Christmas. Cataracts and other eye diseases are robbing these youngsters of their sight before their lives have hardly begun.
It really is a major problem. Children in developing countries can be up to four times more likely to suffer from blindness than those living in richer nations like the UK. Right now, thousands of young boys and girls are living in darkness.
What makes this even more tragic is that, in around half of all cases, their blindness is easily treated and completely avoidable.
In the communities where we work, there simply aren’t enough basic healthcare resources or trained professionals to meet the huge need. And young lives are being ruined as a result.
But we’re doing everything possible to change that.
With your help, we provide free eye screening, medication and sight-saving surgery for men, women and children – services that are literally giving people back their sight.
It’s impossible to exaggerate the damage that cataracts can do to a young person’s life.
Thousands of children are missing out on education and play because cataracts have made them blind. Two thirds of a young child’s early development comes through sight: to be blind at this critical time of life means a future of constant struggle and frustration.
Worse still, if cataracts aren’t identified and removed quickly, they can cause permanent blindness – and a whole life lived in darkness.
Yet cataracts can be treated extremely effectively with an operation to remove the diseased lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens.
It can be enough to lift a child out of darkness and into a life of light and happiness.
Let me give you just one example. Verah lives in Zambia. She noticed there was something wrong with her baby Racheal’s eyes just a few months after she was born. She told us: “I would move my hands in front of her face but she would not react.”
So, when Verah heard there was going to be an Orbis-supported eye screening in Mansa Village, she cycled with one-year old Racheal 60kms from her home to the Mansa Hospital. At the screening, Racheal was diagnosed with cataracts.
Verah was told that she needed to take Racheal for surgery to remove the cataracts that stopped her from seeing. Verah and Racheal travelled more than 500kms by bus to the Kitwe Eye Annexe for surgery, performed by Dr Mboni, an Orbis-trained paediatric ophthalmologist.
The following morning, Dr Mboni removed the patches from Racheal’s eyes. Little Racheal blinked a few times then started waving her hands in front of her face. It was clear she could see at last.
Then, a magical moment: after a year of darkness, little Racheal saw her mum Verah’s face for the very first time. It was the beginning of a brand new life for Racheal.
Thanks to the fantastic support we receive from friends like you, we were able to save Racheal’s sight.
But there are so many more children across the world who still urgently need our help.
In the countries where we work, children like Racheal are suffering right now simply because they don’t have access to the eye healthcare that could give them back their futures.
Can you give the gift of sight this Christmas? There is so much your donation could help us do.
With your help, we can bring a little miracle to the lives of so many boys and girls across the world.
Your kindness could make many more Christmas wishes come true.
Wishing you a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.