Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sight for the Blind

A very inspiring story for you today, one that has already touched many lives and has the potential to touch many more.  One afternoon just a couple weeks ago, we took a party of Campi ya Kanzi guests to visit Iltilal village and its residents.  In speaking with the MWCT doctor, ophthalmologist Dr. Pamela Thiene, here purely on vacation, volunteered to help at the clinic with any eye-related diseases.

Njeda and his grandmother on their way from Kuku Group Ranch to Nairobi.
Njeda, a two year-old Maasai child - born to a fifteen year-old mother who abandoned him - living with his grandmother, was born blind thanks to bilateral congenital cataracts.  In the Western world, this is a simple problem easily solved by surgery, but on Kuku such access to healthcare is not available.  Inspired by Pamela's generosity and selflessness, MWCT volunteer Jessica Hardy and health coordinators Eddie Omete and Lena Koh began searching for a hospital that could perform the operation.

Njeda waiting at Lion's Hospital for his surgery.
Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital in Nairobi was willing to help, and upon hearing about the situation offered to perform the operation for no charge.  Campi ya Kanzi donated the necessary funds for Njeda and his grandmother, Jessica, and Eddie to travel to Nairobi for the operation earlier this month, and it was a tremendous, heartbreakingly wonderful success.

Njeda with eyes covered by bandages following the surgery.
When his bandages were removed and he saw light with his eyes for the first time in his life, he smiled up at her and touched her cheek.  Driving back to his home in the bush, he stared in wonderment at the gorgeous scenery all around him.

The first light seen by this little boy's eyes in his life.
This was truly a case of selfless giving, and a wonderful collaboration between Campi ya Kanzi, the Lions Hospital, and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.  Also, a reminder that any guest of Campi ya Kanzi is welcome and encouraged to spend a day in the village, seeing the traditional Maasai lifestyle and volunteering for MWCT if so desired.  Together, we can help you have the safari of a lifetime and change another's life forever.  Additionally, if you'd like to help MWCT save more Maasai with eye problems please visit this fundraising page.

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