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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. Please help children like Cathleen living in the world's poorest places.

 

You can Light up Lives for children like Cathleen

No child should go blind because their family is unable to afford surgery. Please help children like Cathleen living in the world's poorest places.

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.

As well as funding life-changing treatments, your donation 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.

Thank you.

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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