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You can Light up Lives for children like Cathleen

LUL Aid Match 2021 - Cathleen - LUL HP-High-Quality

No child should go blind because their family is unable to afford surgery. Until 20th May your donation will be doubled by the UK Government, helping twice as many children get the care they need.

 

You can Light up Lives for children like Cathleen

No child should go blind because their family is unable to afford surgery. Until 20th May your donation will be doubled by the UK Government, helping twice as many children get the care they need.

Light Up Lives

 

Cathleen was almost two years old when her mum realised something was wrong with her eyes. 

Although she’s only a toddler, Cathleen’s life has been full of adversity. Her mother, Frimina, became pregnant at 17 and was forced to raise Cathleen alone.

When Cathleen was almost two, Frimina noticed that something was wrong with her eyes. “She stumbled all the time and couldn’t grab things that fell down”, she says.

Cathleen was losing her sight because of cataracts.

"She constantly crashes into things and falls down,” says Frimina, “and she started to cover her eyes with her hands” to try to block the sunlight that blinds her. Frimina didn't know what to do.

Born into a life of struggle

The family share an overcrowed, one-room mud hut. Like many people living in slum communities across East and Southern Africa, they face extreme poverty.

Although Frimina managed to work as a cleaner when Cathleen was a baby by taking her with her, when she was a toddler, Cathleen couldn’t be put down – she would constantly fall or bump into things.

Frimina could barely afford food for the two to eat – without a steady income there was no way she could afford the sight-saving treatment her daughter needs.

Despite not being able to see them, Cathleen loves playing outside on the street with other children.

"But I am worried to let her play outside”, her mother admits. “Every time I hear her cry, I think a severe accident happened. I have scars on my soul from every time I am shocked like this.”

A simple operation would remove the cataracts that cloud her eyes, and in just a few hours, she would be facing a completely different future than the one she faces now. 

Since I realised that Cathleen is going to be blind I am afraid. She will not be able to live the life she should live...

She has changed now. She is angry very often. And I think it is because she can't see well.

Frimina
Cathleen's mum

P 3697 (former 0393) KCMC - Department of Ophthalmology Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania, Africa
HIS Cathleen Erasto Naeli (3), female, bilateral cataract. Pictures are about her surgery (both eyes at once) and homevisits. For further information see: TZA-19-0370_story.pdf.
Picture: Cathleen and her mother at home before surgery

 

No child should go blind because their family is unable to afford surgery.

In the UK, Cathleen would have received her operation and be able to clearly see her loved ones and play with her friends. But in low-income countries like Zimbabwe, it is not so easy.

Your support today will mean that families can live more independently, children like Cathleen can get an education when they are old enough to go to school, and that parents like Frimina can earn a living again.

Donate today and every £1 you donate to our Light up Lives appeal will be doubled by the UK government. That means that sight-saving treatments like cataract surgery can give a child like Cathleen the chance to go to school, get around safely and earn a living to support themselves and their family.

As well as funding life-changing treatments, donations will help train local health workers, equip hospitals and strengthen eye health systems for the future, all of which will have a lasting impact helping to ensure that nobody becomes needlessly blind.

Together, we can change the future that children like Cathleen are facing.

What you can help achieve

Your donations will help Light up Lives for people living in the world’s poorest places by:

  • improving access to sight-restoring cataract surgery and treatment for blinding conditions like glaucoma.
  • reaching people at risk of blindness in remote areas, far from the nearest eye hospital, helping them access treatment before it is too late.
  • providing glasses and support to people with low vision so they can go to school, earn a living and be active in their communities.
  • equipping hospitals, training local staff and partnering with local organisations to strengthen eye health systems to ensure the maximum long-term benefit.
P 3760, Peek Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, Africa. Partner: Zimbabwe Council for the Blind
HIS Danford Dangah (14), male, poor eyesight. Pictures are about a schoolscreening and his consultation at the Richard Morris Hospital, children eye department / 
For further information see: ZWE-19-1690_story.pdf
Picture: Danford (in front) is trying out a frame for his new glasses
P 3760, Peek Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, Africa. Partner: Zimbabwe Council for the Blind
HIS Thierry Mhuri (16), male, sore eyes. Pictures are about his consultation at the Richard Morris Hospital, children eye department / 
For further information see: ZWE-19-1785_story.pdf
Picture: Thierry (right) during his examination. Name of staff not known.
Yudaya during intervention (1st cataract surgery on her left eye) at the Mengo eye department: .Please refer to respective field reports for more information
Yudaya 70 years, has bilateral cataract. She lives in a city suburb with her grandchildren
Here, she is at the Mengo eye department for a cataract surgery.
UK Aid Match Logo

Until 20th May 2021, the UK government will double donations to our Light up Lives appeal up to £2 million. 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 eye-health services in Zimbabwe. Set up a regular gift to Light up Lives before 20th May and the UK government will double up to three monthly donations. Monthly Direct Debit gifts cannot be doubled after 20th July 2021.

Fundraising regulator logo

 

Christian Blind Mission UK is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1058162, and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as charity number SC041101.

© CBM UK Ltd. All rights reserved.


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