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Little Oloke’s vision is so clouded by cataracts that he doesn’t bother opening his eyes any more.
Right now there are 18 million people in the world who are blinded by cataracts. The condition causes the lens of the eye to become milky and completely opaque. The vast majority could be treated and their sight restored though a straightforward and inexpensive surgery.
“I want my child to be seeing. To move, to play with other children – and to go to school with other children” – Helene (Oloke’s mother)
Oloke was born in Lodga, a province of Democratic Republic of Congo. Oloke is 2 and a half, and was born with cataracts in both of his eyes. His mother Helene dearly hopes that someone will remove the cataracts that have stolen her son’s sight.
Oloke’s father left the family when he found out that Oloke was unable to see.
“The father was thinking that it was a curse” says Helene. The brightness of sunshine through such milky eyes can be unsettling, so Oloke only opens his eyes at night. And when he does first open his eyes, because of the cataracts, they shine like the eyes of a cat; many in the community began to believe that Oloke’s blindness was a result of witchcraft. “There was some mistreating that went on…. We moved to another place to get away from that abuse.” Helene and Oloke travelled from their hometown to Kinshasa, to get away from the abuse, and to seek medical treatment for Oloke.
"Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon." Issiah 58:10 (NLT)
Coming to visit St. Joseph’s Eye Hospital was an answer to their prayers.
CBM-funded St.Joseph’s Eye hospital, located in Kishasa examined Oloke and offered to help. Oloke's sight could be restored with a simple operation, and he would receive rehabilitation to help him adjust to his new sight. The money to sponsor the surgery was provided by a generous gift from a CBM supporter.
A bright future for Oloke
When asked what the future now holds for Oloke, his mother Helene responds “...he calls himself “Deputee” (member of parliament). After surgery, after going to class, he will be a member of parliament... he’ll do good for the country." CBM focuses on education and rehabilitation so that people with disabilities can be included into their society as equals and lead more independent lives.
"He will be a member of parliament... he'll do good for the country" - Helene (Oloke's mother)
With your help, more children and adults can receive sight-restoring Cataract surgery, and renewed hope for their lives.
|A gift of £95 will cover the cost of a complete Cataract operation for a child|
|A gift of £50 will pay for therapy sessions to help a child to focus after the cataract sugery|