Stories From the Field

WENDY – Guatemala

It is much easier now to read, to run and play. I can jump! I am happy now!

A very nervous mother brought her 9-year old daughter Wendy to a screening camp in rural Guatemala. Wendy had traumatic cataract caused by an injury to her eye at age 4.

After cataract surgery, she was fitted with a pair of prescription glasses, Wendy's follow-up exam showed that her vision had come back nicely and the surgery had been a great success! With vision restored, Wendy can now see clearly and is excited to be returning to school where her favorite subject is math. Wendy's future has been transformed thanks to Seva's services.

Read more of Wendy's story here.

SUNGA AND HIS DAUGHTERS – Himalaya

In a remote area of Himalaya a man named Sunga had 4 daughters. All of them were blind from cataracts.

The single father faced a heartbreaking decision; he could only afford to bring 3 of the girls to the Seva eye camp for cataract removal. The youngest daughter insisted that her older sisters get treatment, but once left home alone, she broke down and wept.

Upon learning that there was another blind daughter, a Seva staff member hired a motorcycle to travel the 75km to find her and bring her to the camp.

At the Seva eye camp all 4 sisters received cataract surgery. Nothing could take the smiles off their faces of the hope they felt for the first time in their lives.

ABDUL – India

Three years ago Abdul's eyesight began to fade and he eventually went blind.

As a tailor, he could not work or support his family. A Seva outreach camp in rural West Bengal, India found cataracts in both eyes. He was able to have the surgery that restored his vision.

That was just the beginning of his incredible story. He wanted to help others so when he returned home he spread the word about his success. Amazingly Abdul gathered 18 people from his community and brought them to the hospital where he would receive surgery on his other eye and his friends would also have their sight restored.

Read more of Abdul's story here.

PARBATI, MAYA, AND GANGA – Nepal

All had been blind and now all could see.

Parbati stared at the concrete ceiling. She tried to stay calm and still. A doctor gently touched her shoulder and told her everything would be okay. And then, in just 15 minutes, it was over. Parbati, once blind, had received the life-changing cataract surgery that restored her sight.

The next morning, Parbati stood under the soaring pine trees of a Nepali mountainside. She was with Maya, her elderly mother-in-law, and Ganga, her 23-year-old daughter. All three women had been blind. Now they could all see.

For so many years, these three women from three generations of the same family suffered the burden of blindness.

The change to their lives was miraculous. Parbati, Maya, and Ganga can now live their lives to their full potential.

EDINA – Tanzania

She could see her husband smiling from across the room.

Edina Mboje began losing her vision in 2012.

She and her husband owned a restaurant in central Tanzania, but they were forced to close it because she could no longer work. Her son stayed home from school to help with her basic tasks, and her husband took on the responsibilities of cooking and caring for their children.

After years of searching for help, Edina learned about a Seva-supported screening camp in rural Tanzania. The cause of Edina’s blindness was cataract. Transported to the regional hospital, a simple 15 minute surgery restored her sight.

The morning after surgery, Edina could see clearly for the first time in years! The family reopened their restaurant, and their lives have been forever transformed.

Read more of Edina's story here.

RATTANA AND FRIENDS – Cambodia

I am happy now! I can read books and my grades are better!

Rattana was a happy child and a good student. When she was 11, an eye injury caused her vision to deteriorate. She struggled in school as reading became more challenging.

Rattana required surgery to correct her vision – surgery that was performed at a Seva supported hospital. Soon after, a Seva-trained outreach team visited Rattana’s school to screen and test the vision of all 350 students and staff. Rattana was not alone in needing eye care. In all, 17 students and 4 teachers were fitted with prescription glasses that week. Now they can all see the writing on the board.

Read more of Rattana's story here.

DonaJuliaGUATEMALA.jpg

DOÑA JULIA – Guatemala

Doña Julia was unable to see to do anything, she was completely dependent on her children to cook and care for her. She lives in the remote area of the Petén in northern Guatemala.

Blinded by bilateral cataracts for over two years, the lively 84 year old woman was unaccustomed to spending her days alone in her house. Surgery to remove both cataract restored her vision and her independence. Doña Julia now cleans her own house, threads a sewing needle better than her daughter, makes her morning coffee, feeds her chickens and best of all, delights in seeing her grandchildren!

Fact: Two out of three people who are blind are women.

Shamimu_TANZANIA.jpg

SHAMIMU - Tanzania

When doctors in Tanzania found Shamimu, age 5, she was almost blind from cataracts in both eyes. The only way she could see to do her school work was to rest her chin on the page with her eyes as close to her pen as possible. Without treatment she faced a grim future.

Shamimu was very nervous about going to the hospital. Not understanding eye surgery, her friends told her that her eyes would be replaced with goat eyes!

But after sight-restoring cataract surgery at the Seva-sponsored Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Shamimu could see again. Happily she was able to return to school with new confidence and a brighter future.

Fact: There are 19 million children under the age of 15 who are visually impaired. Thanks to your support, Seva is able to provide eye examinations for 200,000 children in need annually.

AMA_stories.jpg

AMA – Nepal

When Ama was a young woman an accident damaged her left eye beyond repair. Years later she developed blinding cataract in her right eye. Ama attended the Seva eye camp at Taplejung in north eastern Nepal and had successful cataract surgery. Every time there is a Seva eye camp in her area she hikes down from her home in the mountains to visit with the doctors and nurses who helped her see again and to express her thanks and gratitude.

On a visit to her well-cared for home she was proud to show us all the activities she now is able to do, such as feeding her animals and caring for her crops and family, now that she has her vision. We expect to be seeing her for many years to come!

Watch a short video about Ama's story.

Fact: 80% of blindness and low-vision can be prevented or cured.

Vishnu_Maya.jpg

VISHNU MAYA - Nepal

Vishnu Maya had become bilaterally blind with cataract. All she could see was fuzzy white, like a constant fog.

She could not work, cook, or even walk without help.

Her son carried her on his back two days through the Himalayas so that she could attend the Num Seva Eye Camp. Two surgeries completely restored her vision.

Walking home with her son she was finally able to see the mountains she was carried over just a few days before.

Watch a short video about Vishnu Maya's story.

Fact: 90% of blindness is found in low-income countries.

MrsPilSaCAMBODIA.jpg

PIL SAM – Cambodia

First she could not see well, then it got worse and she could not see at all. Pil Sam became bilaterally blind with cataract. She would sometimes burn herself when cooking. Eventually her daughter was required to stay with her all the time and help her with even the most basic tasks that she used to do easily.

By chance a neighbor heard about free eye examinations at Siem Reap Referral Hospital and told her about it. Her daughter wanted her to go, but she was very afraid, but eventually agreed to go. First the right eye; and after a very long night of waiting, she could see and was excited to have her left eye operated on the very next day.

Now she can visit the local pagoda and take care of her grandchildren. She is very grateful to Seva and to her daughter for convincing her to go!

Fact: When you give one person back their sight, you give at least two people back their lives.

CHIRING LAMA HAITYA - Nepal

Chiring Lama Haitya lives in a village in Nepal with his wife, four daughters and two sons. In this harsh mountain environment survival depends on seeing.

Cataract began developing on both of Chiring's eyes. At a Seva eye camp he had cataract surgery on his right eye and was able to see to work. The cataract on his left eye eventually rendered him blind in that eye.

One day a neighbor told him of another Seva eye camp in Kaldhari and Chiring set off running. It took him five days to reach the camp.

Here he is after surgery on his left eye, which gave him full 20/20 vision. Chiring's smile says it all.

Fact: The number one cause of treatable blindness is cataract.

Get the SPIRIT of SERVICE!

Sign up to receive Seva's latest news about restoring sight and transforming lives via email or delivered to your door.

   Please leave this field empty

* We will never sell or share your email address and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.


Follow Seva:

Seva Foundation Seva Foundation Seva Foundation Seva Foundation Seva Foundation

Contact Us | Search | Privacy Policy | Our Supporters | Job Opportunities | Sign In

Seva Foundation 1786 Fifth Street Berkeley, CA 94710 phone: 510-845-7382 fax: 510-845-7410
2017 Seva Foundation. All rights reserved.

GuideStar Vision 2020 Charity Navigator InterAction Charity Watch BBB Accredited Charity The Life You Can Save