COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL: Kamaleshwari’s Story: The Gift of Sight
Sheen is a vast tea estate nestled in the hills of Sri Lanka. Centered around its large green tea factory, this community is home to many struggling families. The local Compassion child development center is an important part of the community, ensuring children in need have nutritious meals to eat and a good education.
Kamaleshwari is one of these children. At just 8 years old, she loves to sing and take part in activities at the center. But Kamaleshwari’s playfulness hides the great challenge she faces.
Kamaleshwari suffered from poor eyesight from birth, making her almost blind. Her parents took her to see many doctors but none were able to make a firm diagnosis, and no medications made any difference. She couldn’t walk anywhere without the help of her family and spent her days looking down at her feet, afraid to run and play with the other children.
When she was 4 years old, Kamaleshwari started pre-school. But the teachers refused to keep her in the class, as her poor eyesight meant she needed special attention and more teaching time. Kamaleshwari was forced to stop going to school. Desperate for help, her family brought her to the child development center.
Staff members at the Compassion center were determined to do all they could to help Kamaleshwari, so they took her to Lady Ridgeway Hospital in nearby Colombo. Doctors quickly determined that her near-blindness was caused by cataracts. The staff members were able to access Health and Nutrition funds to pay for cataract surgery, which gave Kamaleshwari clear sight for the first time.
The change in Kamaleshwari has been remarkable. Now she can see her family and friends smiling back at her, she can walk to the center by herself and she can experience the beauty of nature all around her. Her brothers are teaching her letters and colors, and she is excited to be starting school.
“Compassion gave my daughter sight,” says Kamaleshwari’s father, gratefully. This little girl who lived a life cast in shadow, can now experience a world full of color and hope.