World Sight Day Stories

Maria Alejandra Ambrosio is a 60-year old mother living in Guatemala City. She sold chickens for a living. However, one day she noticed that her sight was becoming blurry - and it wasn’t getting better. It made it difficult for her to go out and buy new chickens for her business, or weigh them so she could accurately price her wares. Eventually she couldn’t do basic household chores, like doing the laundry or cooking. Before long, it was too difficult for her to even walk without assistance. Maria knew she needed help, but how could she hope to afford the care she needed?

Thanks to Visualiza, one of Seva’s partner clinics in Guatemala, Maria was able to get the help she needed at no cost to her or her family. As part of our World Sight Day campaign on October 10th, Maria got screened her for cataracts, was recommended for cataract removal, and underwent surgery in short order. Within days, she could see again!

Today, thanks to Visualiza and Seva’s generous donors, Maria can go back to work and provide for her family. She can walk on her own, wash clothes, cook, and do all her daily activities. What she is most grateful for, though, is that she can clearly see the smiling faces of her children and family. Before the surgery, Maria felt isolated, scared, and useless to her loved ones. Thanks to the hard work of Visualiza, and the generosity of our donors, she says she feels useful again.

Visualiza wasn’t the only Seva partner to celebrate World Sight Day like this. In Nepal, the Lumbini Eye Institute & Research Center took to local radio and television stations with a public awareness campaign about the importance of vision care. The Gulmi District Eye Care Center, also in Nepal, held free screenings for senior citizens in the region.

Sadguru Netra Chikitsalya, a pair of eye hospitals in India, trained a total of 36 health care workers (30 women and 6 men) in basic optometry skills. They also provided free eye screenings, glasses, and medicine for construction workers who were working in the area. Finally, Seva hosted a World Sight Day webinar, where our partners worldwide were able to share stories, insights, and reflections with one another.

You can also watch this beautiful video from Visualiza, and see how your support has changed lives like Maria’s in Guatemala this World Sight Day!

Above: Maria Alejandra Ambrosio.

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