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In a small village in Rwanda, Ngayaberua’s world turned dark when he lost his sight due to cataracts. He sat alone in his hut, unable to recognise the faces of loved ones around him. But thanks to our incredible supporters, Ngayaberua’s eyesight has been saved.

Ngayaberua wearing a grey coat and a hat, rests his hands on his staff and looks into the camera.

Ngayaberua, 78, lives alone in a small hut in Rwanda with his son and daughter close by. However, a year ago, his life took a devastating turn when he began to lose his sight to cataracts.

“I cannot even recognise people’s faces when they walk around. I cannot do agricultural work like I used to do or walk from one place to another, I even hit the trees because I cannot see well.”

A year ago, Ngayaberua tried to seek help for his declining vision and visited a local health centre hoping for a solution. They gave him drops to try and fix his vision, but it didn’t work.

Once a vibrant farmer, Ngayaberua started spending his days alone. He was unable to provide for himself and relied heavily on his children who helped where they could. However, with their own responsibilities taking up a lot of their time, visits were often few and far between.

Despite his best efforts in seeking help for his vision, nothing he or his local health centre tried was successful. With each passing day, his world got darker.

This story is all too familiar in Rwanda. Many others like Ngayaberua are unable to get the treatment they need to save their sight.

Ngayaberua, wearing a grey coat rests his hands on his staff and smiles at the camera.

“I’m trying to use my right eye, even though I just get a blurry image from it. The left eye has now completely gone. I am unhappy. I can’t even recognise faces; I don’t know the neighbours or who is coming or going.”

How we helped

Thanks to our incredible supporters, Ngayaberua was eventually able to access our sight-saving project through our local partner hospital, Kabgayi Eye Unit. He was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, and offered sight-saving surgery.

“I will be happy that I will be able to do whatever I want. I can go around, cultivate crops and cook good food for myself! God makes everything possible. God is going to change everything in my life.”

On the day of his surgery, Ngayaberua anxiously waited his turn outside the operating theatre Kabgayi Eye Unit. The eye surgeon carefully performed the procedure on each eye separately, preventing any risk of infection.

In less than 15 minutes, Ngayaberua found himself resting on the ward, his eyes bandaged but his spirit hopeful. His bandages were removed the next morning, revealing the success of the surgery.

“My life is going to change. I am going to begin to grow crops and do everything that l can to support my family.”

Ngayaberua wearing a grey coat with a staff is led by a woman wearing a colourful dress.

Regaining his independence, Ngayaberua’s world transformed as he could once again recognise the faces of neighbours and loved ones.

Ngayaberua, wearing grey coat shakes the land of a lady wearing red. Around him are young people and a lady wearing a red CBM t shirt.

“I am happy to see my daughter again. I am so happy about it. Tell them thank you for everything you are doing for me. I am grateful. I don’t have anything to give them, but God will bless them.”

How you can help

With your support, more people like Ngayaberua can receive the sight-saving surgery and look forward to a brighter future.

All photos: ©CBM UK/Habimana

Ngayaberua goes to embrace his daughter.