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World Sight Day | eNews

World Sight Day | eNews

Today, we’re celebrating World Sight Day and the incredible part you play in restoring sight and helping those with vision impairment be included in their families and communities.

Miracles Day – you made this a record-breaking year!

Thanks to the support of thousands of Australians just like you, more than 38,000 Miracle gifts of sight were raised on Miracles Day. This means 38,000 people around the world will be able to access the sight-saving surgery they need.

As you can see from the photo above, we were very excited to hit our 35,000 target, and in the days following we exceeded that, eventually raising over 38,000 Miracle gifts of sight.

We thank everyone across Australia for your incredible generosity!

Miracles Day means more people like Desire, a father of four from Cameroon, will be able to receive sight-saving surgery – read Desire’s story below!

Our impact in 2017

More than 20 million people around the world are blind from conditions that can be avoided.

Did you know, in 2017, CBM and our partners, helped over 60,000 people access sight-saving surgery? Thank you!

Globally, more than one billion people need one or more assistive products.

And in 2017, through our partners, more than 29,000 assistive devices, including wheelchairs, mobility aids and glasses, were given to those who need it most – enabling people with disabilities to be independent and included in their communities.

Her mother, Changri Bai, is full of fears for her youngest daughter, knowing the hardships she will face.

“Who will take care of her when we grow old? How will she survive without us?” She asks.

Around the world, an estimated 65 million primary and lower secondary school-aged children in developing countries have disabilities, and half are not attending school.

More than 347,000 children, like Ramsaran, were able to access health care, medical services, education and opportunities to be included in their communities.

People with disabilities make up more than one billion of the global population.

And, together with our partners, we empowered more than 1.2 million people with or at risk of disability!

Learn more about how our work in partnership is changing the lives of people with disabilities around the world!

Young kids with big hearts: they’re changing the world!

Read two absolutely heart-warming stories of kids with the biggest hearts.

Miracle movie night

When Jerome, Ethan, Josiah, Caeley, and Dakota heard about the chance to help give kids access to health care during Miracles Day, they jumped at the opportunity and came up with the ingenious idea of a movie night fundraiser!

Jerome shares: “We had read about Jairus’ daughter at church and we were talking about whether there would’ve been doctors to help Jairus’ daughter back then. We then talked about how in some countries kids can’t get help from doctors like we can in Australia.

“We wanted to do something to help other kids get access to doctors for help like we can so easily here. We had heard about Miracles Day on LightFM and thought that’s how we could help other kids get to see doctors. So we decided to do a fundraiser for Miracles Day.”

Jerome, Ethan and Josiah took charge of inviting their friends and made up lolly bags while Caeley and Dakota organised and prepared the food – delicious popcorn, hotdogs and milkshakes! All of which were sold to help raise more money for Miracles Day.

And they all pitched in to help set up and clean up after their successful night.

Altogether they raised over $200 for Miracles Day – an amazing six $33 Miracles!

The night was so successful they’re already planning for next year.

You guys are incredible – thank you for your generous hearts!

A six-year-old gives everything for a Miracle

Brooke and her generous six-year-old son, Eli, share their beautiful story of being inspired to give and remind us all of the impact of Miracles Day.

During Miracles Day last week, my son, Eli, had been listening to the details of CBM and the many life-changing stories from Miracles Day. On our way to school that morning, he said to me, “Mum, I want to give $33 from my pocket money. A person’s life is more important than toys.” (Eli had been saving up for a Ben10 truck!)

After school, we went home and emptied out his moneybox, and Eli proceeded to count out $33. But what he actually counted out was $3 and 30 cents – thinking this was $33.

I gently explained to him that this wasn’t quite correct, and we counted out the coins to make the $33. As I counted, the coins started to disappear before his eyes, and slowly his excitement and smile faded – his entire pocket money totalled $32.65.

As a mum, my heart really felt for him, and I had that little desire to say, ”It’s okay, I’ll take care of it.” But what I really wanted was for him to take this moment as an opportunity to act selflessly. So we had a chat and I asked him to remember his “why”. Why are you choosing to give $33 to Miracles Day? What did you tell me was more important?

From there I discussed with him how giving does require some amount of sacrifice of your own wants in order to help others.

We had swimming lessons coming up, so I said to Eli, “Mate, now that you know what you have and you’ve seen that the $33 is all your pocket money, I want you to take a little time to think about what we have discussed, and you can decide what you would like to do when we return from swimming.”

The swimming lesson had finished and straight out of the pool Eli announced that he had decided to give his entire pocket money to give one person the Miracle of sight-saving surgery.

He couldn’t get home fast enough to make his donation. I turned to him and said, “Mate, I am going to give double of your gift by giving $66 and together we’re going to help three people.” He was so excited, and so was I.

Eli and Brooke – you’ve given children and people around the world the chance to have sight-saving surgery. Thank you for being so generous!

A dad named Desire

Desire lives south of Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde, with his partner, Bernadette, and their four children. Desire also lives with bilateral cataracts (meaning they affect both eyes) and struggles to see.

A proud farmer, Desire grows cassava, maize, groundnuts and cocoyam.

Every day, Desire gets up at 5.30 am and walks 30 minutes to his plantation.

While tending his crops, Desire says, “Once the sun comes up, I can barely see, even if I squint my eyes.”

But while he’s working, Bernadette gets worried.

“When crossing the road, he cannot see vehicles coming from afar and relies on his sense of sound more. I get scared that he can be knocked down by speeding vehicles.

“In the farm as well, a snake can bite him, especially if he does not see it coming. I am concerned about his safety each time he leaves home,” Bernadette shares.

Desire has had many goals – he wanted to go to university and become a civil servant, but he struggled reading. Then he wanted to become a carpenter, just like his cousin, but that required him to be able to see the fine woodworking details, and he feared he would hurt himself on the electric machines.

But Desire is determined to do his best for his family.

“Desire is very hardworking and resilient. He is challenged by his eye problem but he still pushes through the challenge. He goes to the farm every day. Sometimes he gets a part-time job to cut grass along the road,” Bernadette says.

Desire has also felt left out with his friends.

“I am rarely selected to play in any of the teams. My friends say if they pick me to play in their teams I will be a weak link because I cannot see well. Most often I watch from the sidelines but my desire is to play with the other men.”

Earning only $100 a year from his farm, Desire knew that the medical care he needed would be out of his family’s reach.

He shares, “Again, I was told I had cataracts and needed surgery. Like before, I did not have money for the surgery, so I returned home and resigned my fate to God, trusting him for a miracle.”

Desire has also felt left out with his friends.

“I am rarely selected to play in any of the teams. My friends say if they pick me to play in their teams I will be a weak link because I cannot see well. Most often I watch from the sidelines but my desire is to play with the other men.”

Our next eNews will share the incredible impact of Desire’s sight-saving surgery!

Join us at Voices for Justice!

This December, you have the chance to be part of Voices for Justice, which brings together Christians across Australia to advocate for a world free from poverty.

Join CBM at this flagship Micah Australia event, which includes four powerful days Canberra, where you have the chance to meet more than 100 politicians to discuss the importance of rebuilding Australian aid.

When: 1–4 December 2018

Where: Canberra, ACT

Who: All ages welcome. The only prerequisite is that you have a heart for justice!

Book now through the Micah Australia website. Registration closes 2 November!

Your ticket covers entry into the four-day conference, which includes two days of training and workshops with world-class speakers and then two days of lobbying in Parliament House, plus other exciting events.

NOTE: The price does not include accommodation, but Micah Australia can try and help arrange a billeting option for you (just let them know when you book your tickets).

For more information, don’t hesitate to email advocacy@cbm.org.au