12 faces, 12 successes in 2017: Edith

Affordable spectacles for everyone

"Without spectacles, I would most likely sit at home, know nothing and would not have any good friends." - Edith

In 2008, Edith from Uganda was diagnosed with short-sightedness - the most common cause of poor vision in children. "At school, she could not see the blackboard and the teacher complained about her performance", Edith’s mother remembers. But a pair of glasses changed Edith’s life for the better. Sounds like an obvious and straightforward solution, right? But in Uganda, like many other low-income countries, this is where things used to be complicated. Until our NIURE (National Intervention on Uncorrected Refractive Errors) programme was rolled out and made locally adapted, affordable spectacles available to everybody.

Today, Edith is able to develop according to her abilities. She is pursuing her education for a brighter future.  "I can see now and I am attending higher classes. My dream is to become a certified accountant. I am so happy because I don’t think that I would have reached that far without spectacles", Edith says.  

Without optical correction, children far too often lose the chance of receiving education and experience social exclusion. 

A typical story

Edith’s story is similar to that of many other children in sub-Saharan countries, where less than 20 % of people who require optical correction are actually receiving the help they need.

That is why Light for the World, together with the Ugandan Ministry of Health, originally set up a NIURE sustainable programme with the aim of providing locally adapted, high quality glasses to all Ugandan, especially for poor people in rural communities. An essential part of our strategy consists of regular school eye health screenings. We are currently handing NIURE over to the Ugandan government and are investigating possibilities to roll out similar programmes in other low-income countries.