Imagine your child has a condition that is making them blind. It can be treated. But the cost is out of reach.
This is what it was like for Aisha and her daughter, Shanice, from Uganda, East Africa. Aisha could tell there was a problem with Shanice’s sight when she was just a baby. But sadly, in the remote village where they live there are no eye health services nearby.
When Shanice started nursery, teachers also noticed that she struggled to see beyond the toys that were right in front of her. They suggested she should have her eyes checked. However, living in poverty, Aisha couldn’t afford the check-up, barely managing nursery fees. Aisha could only hope for her little girl’s eyesight to improve.
Then, on Shanice’s first day at school, she couldn’t read the blackboard. The other children called her ‘Muzibe,’ an unkind term for ‘blind.’ Although Shanice dreamed of becoming a doctor, her teachers deemed it pointless to pay school fees for a sight-impaired child.
At five-years-old, Aisha knew Shanice’s opportunity for an education was slipping away. Desperate, she pleaded for time off, borrowed money, and travelled to Mengo Eye Clinic in Kampala. This is where Shanice and Aisha met Dr Aliraki, who told them: “Shanice urgently needs an operation.”
If Shanice had been brought in earlier, her cataracts could have been removed. Now though, the only way to save her sight was a complex procedure to replace the lenses of her eyes. Hearing the cost, Aisha felt hopeless: “I will need to work a year to save that, maybe two years. What will happen to Shanice?”
Their story didn’t end here.
Aisha was amazed to hear that Shanice’s surgery could be funded with the help of Christian Blind Mission; all she needed to do was get her to the hospital. The mother and daughter could hardly believe how their life took a turn for the better.
During the operation, Dr Aliraki exchanged the lens of one eye which was clouded by cataract for a new artificial one to give her clear vision. After a while the nurse brought the still sleeping Shanice back to her mother, the operated eye covered with an eye patch. Aisha could only wait and hope for the best.
The next morning, when the bandages were removed from her eyes, Shanice blinked into the sudden light and quickly teared up, overwhelmed. Then, a smile lit up her face. “When I get home,” she said, “I want to go to school. And I want to tell my friend Swaburah that I can see now!”
Aisha told us: “I am so excited; my daughter can see well now! And I am happy. I want to thank the people here and the donors.”
To find out more and to help give sight to a child like Shanice today visit Christian Blind Mission.