Gift of Sight secures a family’s livelihood

Young boy tends to sheep under a tree in Kenya's Rift Valley.
Written by Colin Zak, published on March 8, 2023 Sign up for eNews

Thirteen-year-old Isaya shoulders more than most boys his age. As one of eight children in a farming family in the village of Inkinye, in Kenya’s Rift Valley, Isaya’s future livelihood has always depended on the success of the farm.

His father’s efforts to tend to the land deteriorated due to age, leaving the responsibility to the children. Despite worsening vision since childhood, Isaya has been responsible for helping with many of the farm chores.

“I was always worried for Isaya, especially when he took the cattle to graze, that he would be injured,” says his older sister, who works outside the home to support their family.

Isaya says his failing vision also made it difficult to read and complete his schoolwork. While other boys his age are in grade eight and preparing to enter high school, Isaya is in grade five at the local primary school. Sadly, their responsibilities at home and their lack of finances prevented Isaya and his family from seeking medical attention.

Last year, a local health worker, trained by Operation Eyesight, identified Isaya’s vision problems during a door-to-door screening. The screening was part of a larger community eye health project we’re implementing in partnership with CBM and Peek Vision. Isaya was diagnosed with cataract and referred to our partner Kajiado County Referral Hospital, where he received cataract surgery in one of his eyes, free of charge.

Young boy from Kenya sits at a table over a school workbook.
Isaya received free cataract surgery at our partner hospital in Kenya. Now he is once again focusing on his studies and his future.

“Before the surgery, I could not clearly read the blackboard and had to sit near it so I could see what the teacher was writing,” Isaya says.

“I can now read without much struggle.”

With Isaya’s vision restored, his sister no longer has to skip work to assist him. She says she’s excited for what the future has in store for Isaya and their entire family.

“It is wonderful to see Isaya full of life and promise again,” she says.

“This blessing has ensured that both of our futures are secured and that our family will thrive!”

Donate to help provide the Gift of Sight for more children like Isaya.

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