Through partnering with Kelsey and learning about the students she teaches in we have realized the importance of literacy. Growing up in America, a country where being taught to read and write is standard, it is hard to imagine a life without it. It is hard to imagine anyone’s life without it really.
Long story short, literacy is essential. I think we can all agree there.
So what human ability is essential to become literate? SIGHT, Clearly (pun intended).
In March of this year Kelsey shared with us that she was noticing that as she taught her young pupils in Uganda, some of them were struggling with the material. However, the problem wasn’t the content, it was their eyes. Their vision. It seemed to her that they couldn’t see the words clearly. After meeting Kelsey and learning about this issue, together we decided it was a perfect opportunity to begin working together. Kelsey single handedly arranged for doctors to come to the Awandiri Primary School to perform eye exams on students and DIFF came on board to fund the program.
To date, we have provided eye examinations for over 1800 students. For many of these young kids this was the first time they had seen a doctor. For some this was the first time they felt cared for. Kelsey watched these exams happen first-hand, and shared several heartwarming testimonials about the impact this experience had on the students and staff at the school. This one in particular, really blew me away.
“Barbara is a fourteen year old girl who stays with very extended family and only enrolled in school two years ago. She cannot read or write, count to twenty, nor spell her name for us. But man, does she have a poise about her that anyone would admire. Beautiful, kind, patient, and shy. Barbra had perfect vision, no allergies, no foreign bodies, and no eye complaints. However, our doctor did notice a massive infection in her right ear that he stopped all the examinations for.. That tiny nub of cartilage protecting our inner ear was the size of a half dollar, white pus oozed out the edges, and Barbara explained her story. She explained the pain that keeps her up at night and how terrible she feels when kids make fun of her condition. She explained that she informed her “Uncle” and he essentially told her to suck it up and never spoke of it again. The growth continued to swell. The doctor informed our head teacher to call anyone she could to verify the severity of this condition, that this infection could move to her brain, and that she could be dead by the weekend. Fast forward - the Uncle still didn’t really care but a kind P7 student walked with Barbra to the health clinic by the doctor’s orders and used my 5,000 shillings to buy her the treatment she needed for her ear. A week later, I met with Barbra and her ear looks normal while her spirits are so much higher. She explained that this was the first time that someone finally cared for her, cared about her health, and believed in her. All thanks to a doctor, a passionate company in America, and an E chart”.
Here at DIFF we learn every day. We see the real need for change. For help. Thanks to all of you, amazing partner's like Kels, and our TEAM here at DIFF we are able to provide that change. That help. Even to the degree of saving a life.
Thank you for being apart of our vision and growing with us.
To get more information/details about this please check out Kelsey’s blog “Uganda Read This” Written March 20th > http://sabeoh.tumblr.com/page/4