What can you see right now?
Look around the room you’re in and just think for a minute about what you can see around you. There might be people – possibly your family or people you live or work with, or you might be in a cafe somewhere or on public transport. If you’re at home you might see familiar possessions. Photos of loved ones, art work your kids have brought home from school, or souvenirs from a family holiday. You might have the book you’re currently reading laying nearby, or possibly a favourite magazine. There might be a postcard a friend sent you from her holiday stuck to the fridge or resting on the mantelpiece. If you look out of the window you might see your back garden, the street you live or work on, or maybe a favourite scenic view. You suddenly hear a noise and look to where it came from. It could be your husband or wife coming in from work, or maybe your children, grandchildren or the family pet. Whoever it is you smile when you see then – pleased to do so.
But imagine if you couldn’t see. All those things I’ve listed above were hidden from you. The pleasures you take from them blocked by your blindness. Cataracts robbing you of the ability to see the things you love.
Here in the UK operations to remove cataracts are common, simple and readily available. So much so that many of us take the fact we could get cataracts removed for granted if we get them. That’s not the case everywhere though and the results of cataracts can be simply life changing.
Sightsavers have launched a new ambitious campaign called Million Miracles to raise £30 million by 2017 to fund sight-restoring procedures. It costs just £30 to provide a cataract operation for an adult and £50 for a child (more as they require a general anaesthetic for the procedure) and that really is such a small price to pay to give someone their sight back.
Mr Winesi March – ©RachelPalmer/FieldcraftStudios/Sightsavers
Million Miracles is launching with an amazingly innovative live storytelling event. On Wednesday 8th October at 1.30pm UK time there will be a live online link up with Malawi where we will meet Mr Winesi who, due to double cataracts, has been unable to see for the last two years. We will also be meeting one of the few cataract surgeons in Malawi who will be performing the life changing five minute procedure to give Mr Winesi his sight back and in doing so changing his life. For two years he has not been able to see his dear wife Namaleta. He has never seen his grandson Luca. He can no longer work or provide for his family, and soon their food supplies will otherwise run out.
24 hours later – 1.30pm UK time on Thursday 9th October – they will all be back live again as Mr Winesi’s bandages are removed and he gets to see his wife and grandson. Watch for yourself as technology allows the rest of the world to See the Miracle that your support of Sightsavers can deliver.
I’ll definitely be watching and I hope you will join me in doing so. If you’ve ever seen a charity campaign and wondered what impact your donation would make to the lives of real people then I hope this will help you see the difference. The lovely Chris over at Thinly Spread has also been meeting Mr Winesi and his family over on her blog (here and here) and it provides a lovely back story to what you will see on Wednesday and Thursday.
The UK Government are supporting the Million Miracles campaign and until 31st December 2014 every donation made will be matched by them. This means that if you donate £30 you will actually be saving the sight of two people. Making a real difference to the lives of two different families.
Please donate and help to provide a Million Miracles (just click the link to do so) and join us to See the Miracle for yourself later in the week.
All being well – some technical wizardry-pokery will be happening to allow me to embed a fancy widget on Being Mrs C to allow you to see the live broadcasts here. I’ll be updating with this widget just as soon as it’s ready.