Holiday Appeal: Restore sight and hope to children like Megha

December 2019

If you met Megha, you would immediately see that this bright fourth grader from Nepal wears her glasses with pride. The simple lenses do more than just correct her vision. Without them she would have been destined to a life of poverty and dependence. And it's thanks to our kind supporters that Megha can now see a bright future.

Globally, refractive errors are the most common cause of vision impairment. They occur when the shape of an eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in blurred images. In cities like Biratnagar, where Megha lives with her parents and three siblings, the prevalence of refractive errors is increasing in schoolchildren.

This is why Orbis launched REACH, which stands for Refractive Error Among Children. It is an innovative yet simple project designed to reduce visual impairment in India and Nepal. To date, more than 2.5 million children have been screened and more than 68,700 pairs of glasses have been given to children, including Megha.

A pair of prescription glasses cost $6.

You could buy an entire class of children a pair of glasses for less than $100.

Because of her undiagnosed amblyopia — a refractive error known as “lazy eye” — Megha struggled in school. She couldn’t read the blackboard or her textbooks. Prior to her screening, Megha and her family never made the connection between her difficulty at school and her poor vision.

Did you know that 80% of learning is visual? It's for this reason visual impairments have a particularly devastating impact on children and their future.

Because the healthy eye can compensate for its affected counterpart, children with refractive errors often don’t realize there is a problem. As a result, they can suffer permanent vision loss without treatment. This means that our REACH program — and your continued support — are critical and life-changing.

Once diagnosed, Megha received a free pair of prescription glasses, which she picked out herself. She says, "I like everything about my glasses." Now able to see clearly, Megha studies hard, enjoys playing with her friends and dreams of a future as a teacher.

Megha proudly wearing her new glasses alongside her mother.

I want to become a reading and writing teacher. I will teach in Nepal and I will teach small children.

Megha

Megha’s story is proof that your generosity is creating a world free from avoidable blindness.

And when you consider that every $1 invested in eye health in a country like Nepal, where many live in poverty, yields $4 in economic gain, your support creates a ripple effect of restored vision, hope and prosperity!

While another child waits for the eye care they need, your generosity today will provide them with healthy vision and a bright future.

Together, we will continue to change the lives of thousands of children...

...one pair of glasses at a time.