Help a child like Mitchelle See the Way to a brighter future this Christmas

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Our See the Way appeal has finished and donations will not be doubled, but you can still give a Christmas gift and change lives for children like Mitchelle.

 

Help a child like Mitchelle See the Way to a brighter future this Christmas

Our See the Way appeal has finished and donations will not be doubled, but you can still give a Christmas gift and change lives for children like Mitchelle.

Mitchelle is five-years-old.

Approaching the low veranda around Mitchelle’s house in Uganda, East Africa, she is sitting laughing with her brother and sister. Their giggles ring out in the stillness of the morning.

Her siblings sit protectively beside her, their arms dangling around her neck. It's not until the children leave to fetch water that you notice Mitchelle carefully placing her feet, testing where the ground is. It then becomes clear that she cannot see where she is going.

A lover of learning, Mitchelle’s growing enjoyment of school was cut short when a cloudy film caused by cataracts began to cover her eyes.

She struggled to read the blackboard. She couldn’t make out the letters on the pages of her school book, and had to bring the book within centimetres of her face in order to see it. She would blink constantly and bright light seemed to bother her.

Mitchelle’s mother Barbra is a nursery school teacher, and knew that her youngest daughter needed help. She went to the eye clinic and was given eye drops, but there was no improvement in Mitchelle’s sight. The family tried herbal remedies, but nothing changed. Barbra began to lose hope.

Life is not easy for the family. Although Barbra earns a wage, she supports the children alone, and there is nothing left at the end of the month after paying for school fees, food and rent.

Watch the video to see how avoidable blindness really affected Mitchelle's life.

But as well as living on very little, the family has to cope with the stigma and discrimination they face.

The children in the neighbourhood refuse to play with her; something which upsets Barbra and Mitchelle. “They taunt her saying she is squint-eyed. She often comes to me crying. I feel bad,” Barbra says. In an effort to focus, Mitchelle walks with her neck tilted to one side but she still cannot see well. So some children in the community have branded her “kazole”, which means ‘retarded’ in English.

This poor vision has robbed Mitchelle of happiness. If I do not get anyone to help right now, I think Mitchelle will soon become totally blind and she will remain dependent on others for survival. I am helpless and can only wait for God to answer my prayers.

Barbra, Mitchelle's mum
Uganda, East Africa

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There is a way for you to restore that happiness for children like Mitchelle, whose lives are being impacted so severely by conditions like cataracts.

With your help, we can not only fund these life-changing interventions, but also train health workers, and equip hospitals to strengthen eye health systems, bringing eye health services closer to communities to ensure that nobody is needlessly blind.

We cannot underestimate the difference this work will make to people’s lives. For children like Mitchelle, cataract surgery could mean a return to proper education. It would mean independence, joining in with family activities and playing with school friends. It means a safer and happier childhood.

Barbra’s greatest fear is that, without treatment, Mitchelle faces a future of limitation, and reliance on others. A gift from you today will bring freedom for a child like Mitchelle: the best possible gift this Christmas.

Every day, children like Mitchelle in the world’s poorest places become needlessly blind. Please, if you can, give a special Christmas gift to help them today.

Mitchelle during surgery at the Mengo eye department. Please refer to respective field reports for more information.Mitchelle– 5 years old – was born with bilateral cataract. She lives in Mukono district in central Uganda - together with her mother Barbra 32 years old, a kindergarten teacher and siblings Maurice and Morisa
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Children waiting for their surgery

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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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