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Cambridge-based CBM UK to help Salomé See the Way to a brighter future

For two years, Salomé has been blind due to cataracts, which have robbed her of vision, leaving her isolated, struggling to care for her grandchildren and unable to read her precious Bible.

Salomé heads off for surgery Picture: CBM UK (9330109)
Salomé heads off for surgery Picture: CBM UK (9330109)

Time and again she has tried to get treatment, and has been praying for a miracle – but help has been out of reach – until now. Cataracts can be removed with straightforward surgery, but Salomé has been unable to make the long journey to the nearest hospital that can operate. She cannot walk alone and the cost of a bus fare is more than she and her daughter could afford.

But in a few days, thanks to support from Cambridge-based charity CBM, she could see again.

Salomé lives in Southern Rwanda with her daughter Eudosie and three young grandchildren. While Eudosie goes out to work, on a government work scheme or casual farm work, earning vital income to feed the family, Salomé looks after her two youngest children.

But she struggles to care properly for two young children when she can’t see them.

Eudosie said: “I am either paid 600 Rwandan francs (50p) or given food in exchange for work…if I get beans we eat just beans, so our life is just about survival and avoiding death. “We tried to seek treatment but it’s too far away and we can’t afford it. My mother used to be able to cook whilst I was at work. She would have the house clean and the children fed. There were no problems but now the burden is all on me.”

While Eudosie goes out to work to earn vital income to feed the family, Salomé looks after the youngest grandchildren. But she struggles to care properly for two young children when she can’t see them:

“My daughter goes out for work and I stay with her children… they can see me but I can’t do anything for them. All I can do is put the little one on my back when they want to sleep. I can’t even see light so I can’t even make a fire to cook,” said Salomé.

Salomé still has a ready smile and does her best to look after her grandchildren and support her daughter. But being unable to see has left her feeling isolated.

This week, this grandmother’s life – and the lives of her daughter and grandchildren - could change forever, after cataract surgery at CBM’s partner hospital in Rwanda.

CBM UK’s Rosi Jack has flown to Rwanda to report live on Salomé’s journey to sight: “It’s shocking to think that people like Salomé, living in remote, rural communities in Rwanda, are needlessly blind because they cannot access a straightforward operation to restore their sight. But thanks to CBM supporters, in a matter of days she will finally be able to access the treatment she needs to see again, after two years..

“It’s a huge privilege for me to have the chance to be part of this life-changing week for Salomé and her family, and And a wonderful chance to show our supporters in the UK the daily challenges that Salomé has faced because of her blindness, but also the huge difference that cataract surgery can make for an individual and their whole family.

“I’ll be sharing daily updates from Rwanda and also will be sharing the prayers and messages of support from people in the UK with Salomé. I hope you’ll join me to be part of this amazing week, to see how your support can transform lives.”

How you can help

Donate to help people like Salomé See the Way to a brighter future:

  • Online at CBM UK
  • By calling CBM’s friendly supporter care team on 0800 567 7000
  • By post: CBM, Oakington Business Park, Dry Drayton Road, Cambridge CB24 3DQ

Give before May 14, 2019 and every £1 you donate to CBM UK’s #SeeTheWay appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

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