The gift of sight is priceless. To see what is in front of us is nothing short of a daily miracle. However, there is someone in another part of the world that is suffering with the curse of preventable blindness and/or other disabilities because they cannot afford the surgery or the necessary treatment. Then, we hear about an organization that is answering prayers all over the world!
Sightsavers is an organization that works to prevent blindness in poor countries, namely in Africa and Asia. It was founded on January 5, 1950 in the United Kingdom by Sir John Wilson (who was blinded by a chemical experiment) and his wife, Lady Jean Wilson. Sightsavers was originally named the British Empire Society for the Blind.
Sightsavers also works to help people with disabilities (including blindness) find jobs or learn a trade to be able to have the privilege of supporting themselves and feeling a sense of accomplishment and inclusion in mainstream society. In the blog piece titled, Lessons from Our First Inclusive Eye Health Project, author Daisy Macdonald researches the significance of societal inclusion for visually disabled people, and breaks down the steps necessary to for the ideal to come to fruition. The blog piece also explores the logistics for poor blind people to gain access to proper health facilities, medications and support as deemed necessary.
There is a video about a debilitating eye disease in Ethiopia called Trachoma. Trachoma is the number one preventable eye disease in the world, as it touches poor people with no consistent hygiene resources, no support, and no political voice. The disease is caused by flies that feed off of feces from humans that have a form of the disease, chlamydia. When the flies leave the feces, they carry the disease on their feet and land on people’s faces, specifically on their eyes. When people are infected by trachoma, their eyelashes grow inward, painfully scratching the cornea. Eventually, the person goes blind. Sightsavers is one of the partners that is helping communities rid themselves of the disease by teaming with local political/social leaders and medical facilities in the area. Together, they are working to give the communities resources like surgery, education, antibiotics, and access to clean toilet areas and ample water supplies to wash their face and hands accordingly, repelling the flies and destroying the disease.
Many thanks to Sightsavers, an organization that cares.