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Chance to help Joy see again


By Adrian Curtis


Eleven-year-old Joy loves telling stories, drawing pictures and skipping. She’s a quick learner, but these days she dreads school.

Joy’s poor vision, caused by a childhood illness, means it is a constant struggle for her to keep up with her classmates – writing on the blackboard is a distant blur and she has to strain at every word in her textbooks.

“If the teacher is writing something at the board I cannot see, it forces me to move from where I’m sitting to go and stand at the front and read then I come back and write,” Joy explains.

Joy has low vision as a result of hydrocephalus (life threatening condition where fluid build up causes pressure on brain). Sabatia Eye Hospital Vision Therapist Regina Ondigo fits Joy with new magnifying glasses to help her read and see much more effectively, and a telescope so she can see the blackboard without going very close.. (7780273)
Joy has low vision as a result of hydrocephalus (life threatening condition where fluid build up causes pressure on brain). Sabatia Eye Hospital Vision Therapist Regina Ondigo fits Joy with new magnifying glasses to help her read and see much more effectively, and a telescope so she can see the blackboard without going very close.. (7780273)

“It makes many children laugh at me. I feel it’s like I’m not useful for anything. I feel very bad.”

Cambridge-based overseas disability charity CBM has launched a new campaign, supported by the Cambridge Independent, to help people with sight problems in the world’s poorest places. Between February 15 and May 14, the UK government will match all public donations to its See the Way appeal.

Joy lives in Kenya, where sadly, few children with vision problems get the glasses or support they need.

With big classes the norm – often 50 or more students – it’s easy to see how children quickly fall behind. But missing out on education means their chances of escaping poverty are slim.

Joy’s mum Jacinta works hard as a cleaner to support her children. Every day she prays for help for her daughter, so she can finish school and have the chance of a better life.

By sending a gift, you could help twice the number of children See the Way to a brighter future, improving access to sight-saving surgery, glasses and support.

Public donations will support CBM’s work preventing blindness and transforming lives wherever the need is greatest. Match funding from the UK government will improve access to sight-saving eye-health services in Rwanda.

Kirsty Smith, CBM UK chief executive, said: “It’s shocking to think that men, women and children are losing their sight just because they are poor. But for many people in countries like Rwanda, treatment for blinding conditions like cataracts is out of reach. This appeal will help change that, helping people with sight problems access the treatment and support they need.”

To donate or find out more, visit seetheway.org.



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