A Million Miracles: Sightsavers #SeeTheMiracle Campaign
As I sit here typing this post, I look around the garden.The washing is billowing in the wind, the green grass is long, the neighbouring trees are shedding their Autumnal leaves and a cat is lying under a table.I can see every word on my computer screen and keyboard, the colours bright and the text clear.I pause and head to the kitchen to check on dinner and make myself a cup of tea.On my return I think of what it would be like to do these things whilst blind.Difficult? Slightly dangerous? But not impossible and yet couldn’t really imagine what it would be like to like that permanently.The thought of not ‘seeing’ my children grow up, missing the vibrant colours of our world around us, listening to a book being read instead of holding it, the frustrations of doing simple tasks with help.
And yet this is the reality for millions of people around the world and many that are blind can have their sight saved.
Sightsavers are launching an ambitious major appeal, Million Miracles, to raise £30 million in order to deliver 1 million cataract operations in some of the poorest parts of the world.
The ‘Million Miracles’ launch event is an innovative, live digital storytelling event that will, via LIVE Google Hangouts from Malawi, Africa and traditional media & other social media channels, take the global audience on an emotional and inspiring journey.
Photos: ©RachelPalmer Fieldcraft Studios
Mr Winesi who has bilateral cateracts, sits at home. He has been identified as needing a cateract operation by Madalitso Nyangulu, Ophthalmic Clinical Officer at Mwanza Hospital. His operation is scheduled for 8 October 2014. Mwanza District. He has been identified as needing a cateract operation by Madalitso. Kalima Village, Mwanza District, Malawi.
You’ll meet Mr Winesi who, due to bilateral cataracts, has been totally blind for two years. He has never seen his grandson Luca, and misses seeing his beautiful wife Namaleta. He can no longer work and provide for his family. In a few months their food stores will run out and they will go hungry as he is unable to work.
This is heartbreaking and needs to be addressed.All it takes is a 5 minute operation that costs £30 pounds to change his life, and the lives of his family.
Join us on the 8th October at 1.30 UK time as one of the few cataract surgeons in Malawi delivers the 5 minute life-changing operation. Hosted by UK YouTuber star Doug Armstrong, you’ll meet the Mr Winesi, and all the health worker heroes delivering this vital work.
How is amazing is that!
Madalitzo Nyangulu, Ophthalmic Clinical Officer (OCO) checks Mr Winesi March’s eyesight outside his house in Kalima Village, Mwanza District, Malawi. Many of Madalitso’s patients aren’t able to get to the hospital so he has to conduct outreach clinics. Mr Winesi has been diagnosed with bilateral cataracts and is blind. He is scheduled to have a cataract operation on 8 October 2014 performed by Dr Gerald, one of Malawi’s few eye surgeons.
Then join us on the 9th October at 1.30 UK time as we removed the bandages and Mr Winesi can see for the very first time. He will be able to see his wonderful wife, and hold and see his grandson Luca for the very first time.
I think I’ll need tissues at the ready, when the bandages will be removed.Can you imagine what that must feel like? To be blind and then to have a simple operation to see his family, and work to so he can provide food for his family.
Malawi has just 1 eye surgeon for every 4.25 million people and Dr Gerald, who is performing the surgery on Mr Winesi, is the only pediatric surgeon in the whole of Malawi.
They are staggering statistics.
Mr Winesi who has bilateral cataracts and is blind, is led his wife, Namalata across the river that separates their home in Kalima village from the nearest road to go to Mwanza District Hospital for an eye check. He has been identified as needing a cateract operation by Madalitso Nyangulu, Ophthalmic Clinical Officer at Mwanza Hospital. His operation is scheduled for 8 October 2014. Mwanza District. He has been identified as needing a cataract operation by Madalitso. Mwanza District, Malawi.
Using satellite technology to broadcast live from rural Malawi this project will push the boundaries in live storytelling.
The coverage will begin on October 1st for the live week to begin on 6th October.
The live broadcasts will be:
8th October – cataract surgery
9th October – Bandage reveal to coincide with World Sight Day
What You Can Do As A Blogger?
Our main aim is to drive as any people as possible to watch the live Google broadcasts. We want as many people as possible within the, frankly amazing, parent blogger community to help us to do that.
Yes, that means you!
L-R Flaxon Winesi, Mr Winesi, Flora and her son Luca and Namaleta sat outside the Winesi house in the shade. Mr Winesi has never seen his grandson, Luca, and is very excited about seeing him for the first time after his cataract operation. He has been diagnosed as having a bilateral cateract and is schedule for his cataract operation on 8 October 2014. Kalima Village, Mwanza District, Malawi.
If you would like a guest post from one of our key characters about A Million Miracles: Sightsavers #SeeTheMiracle Campaign, Please contact Chris Mosler <email@example.com
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March Family Mwandaza Village “Everyone in this family will be happy”
Winesi March’s family is a big one. He and his wife Namaleta have 13 children in total, as well as many grandchildren. There’s Yulita, Frackson, Ethel, Flora, Luka, Lett, Samson, Yelesi, Alan… and that’s just for starters. Winesi’s sight loss has affected all of them, and this is often an underestimated cost of avoidable blindness: the impact on the whole family.
“I feel sorry for my family,” says Winesi.
“Because of my eye problem, I can no longer provide as I used to do in the past. I have some maize that I harvested last year remaining, but my worry is that once it’s finished, I won’t be able to support my family. I’m worried that they will suffer.”
“Everyone in this family is affected because of my blindness. Sometimes my children and my grandchildren fail to do what they want to do because they have to be around to help me. They can’t play with their friends or do other activities, because they have to be here to protect my life. There are times when my wife is away and my children can’t go to school because they have to look after me.”
The impact is biggest on Namaleta, who now has to do the work of two people to keep the household running and work to provide for the family. Winesi relies on her to lead him around, and although he’s known for a while that his cataracts could be treated at the hospital, he’s needed his wife to assist him to get there, and for various reasons – illness, bad timing, being unable to afford transport costs, the long walk on uneven roads – this hasn’t been possible. Now Winesi’s preparing for his surgery on 8 October, and while it’ll certainly change his life, it’ll also make life a great deal easier for the whole family, particularly Namaleta.
Winesi can’t wait:
“I will be very happy when I regain my sight. I will feel that I am the luckiest person on this earth,” he says. “I will also make celebrations with my family… Everyone in this family will be happy.”