Author: Stuart Harris, General manager ACCTV
Story-telling is an ancient practice. It’s how we transfer information to one another, and humans have told stories since time began.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to the remote south-eastern corner of Nepal, far off the beaten Himalayan tourist track, to a small village where 11-year old Yangsang lives with his family. I was there to tell his story, through the eyes of Lyn Wake, a passionate CBM supporter, for the documentary “I See You” – screening on ACCTV from Monday 12 August.
Yangsang is like any young boy. He loves to kick a ball around and get up to all sorts of adventures, however recently he was diagnosed with a cataract. His eyesight is slowly deteriorating and, if left untreated, would affect every aspect of his life.
We witness the moment Yangsang received life-changing surgery to remove the cataract from his eye restoring hope for his future.
As a documentary storyteller and keen adventurer, I’ve always dreamt of travelling to Nepal. For me the trip was more than I could have imagined. Experiencing the culture for myself was privilege and joy I will never forget. Photographing the people in their environment, observing their lives, capturing their customs and being able to share stories is when I feel I’m most operating to my strengths and passion.
The work of CBM around the world is inspiring and to be a part of helping bring more Miracles to more people is exciting. To witness first-hand cataract surgery and see just hours later the immediate impact it has on someone’s life is quite amazing.
I enjoy the interaction with my own children around Miracles Day. We listen in to the stories and my kids ask whether they can help too. It’s a powerful and valuable lesson for them to learn how they can be generous and support another child in another part of the world receive the gift of sight.
Often when I’m shooting, I anticipate the moment I get what fellow photographers refer to as “the money shot”. It’s an exciting moment, and with documentary photography it is unpredictable as to when or even if that moment will happen. The moment came one day while photographing Reena, a young girl with a severe cataract, who had been abandoned by her parents.
We were in a dimly lit serving area in a restaurant that her foster family owned and operated. It was a timber structure, quite run down and shards of daylight pierced through the gaps in the exterior facing walls. The light was just right, and I just knew that as the young child peered at me from behind a vertical beam, I had the shot.
I can’t wait to hear the stories of people who are impacted this year by Miracles Day. For the first time, people will be able to listen in to their local Christian radio station – and also watch “I See You” and see for themselves how they are making a difference to children like Reena.
Watch “I See You” by ACCTV here.
Miracles Day gives Australians the opportunity to give someone the Miracle gift of sight, with a 12-minute operation costing just $33.
CBM’s Miracles Day happens across Australia on August 15. To find out more or to donate, visit cbm.org.au/miraclesday