As part of Orbis Awareness Month, we are proud to be telling the stories of the children whose lives have been improved by the REACH (Refractive Error Among CHildren) campaign. The goal of the REACH programme is to reduce visual impairment among children in Nepal. We are delighted to share Brenda from Orbis’s experience meeting some of the Nepalese children impacted by the programme.
KISAN AND SHASHANT
Age: 12 and 10 years old
Region: Biratnagar, Nepal
Condition: High myopia/short sightedness
During a recent Orbis-funded REACH programme screening at their school, brothers Kisan and Shashant were diagnosed with myopia and subsequently prescribed glasses. Without their glasses, they are unable to clearly see objects only a short distance away from them which impacts them in most areas of their day to day lives. According to a senior optometrist who is familiar with their case, the brothers would be classified blind by the World Health Organisation.
When Brenda met the brothers, they talked about their family and about their hobbies which include playing cricket and playing card games. They talked about the challenges they encountered before they started wearing glasses. “I cannot read the whiteboard or blackboard. I cannot see objects at a far distance and I cannot read properly” Kisan told her. When asked what difference they feel wearing glasses has made to them, both boys were visibly relieved to have received their glasses. Kisan told Brenda “All the difficulties I had before like reading, playing with my mother, these are no longer difficulties. I can see anything, I can see things which are at a far distance” while Shasant says “I can also see objects clearly, and I can read properly with my glasses”. Brenda told of how grateful the boys were to the team who were responsible for giving them their glasses, with Kisan saying “to all the sisters, uncles, who have given me the glasses, I want to say thank you”. Shashant added “I was not able to look at the board at school and I am thankful for being given glasses so now I can see”.
Kisan and Shashant’s English teacher even reported noticing a marked improvement in both the boys after they received their glasses.
Kisan and Shashant are just two of many more children in Nepal whose lives have been improved by Orbis and the REACH programme. We look forward to sharing more incredible stories like theirs throughout Orbis Awareness Month.
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