Hope and Healing

World Sight Day – what?

October 08, 2010General

I am not a sentimental guy – you can confirm that with my wife! That is why I don’t do flips over designated days like “World Sight Day” to be held on October 14 this year. Don’t get me wrong – I think that work to prevent blindness, address low vision, and provide devices for people with blindness to be independent is important.  Our month of miracles – providing cataract surgeries – clearly is vital in the lives of so many. Each sight restored is a miracle for the person, and also a miracle to their family.

What I worry about on these designated days – like “World Sight Day” – is that it provides politicians and others the photo opportunity and publicity to say they take the issue seriously. Too often the day after the issue is put on the back burner until the next year when the photographer is again trotted out. It is time to take these issues so seriously that we designate every day as a “World Sight Day”. People with low vision are not affected only on one day a year – but every day. I want cbm Canada to be known not as an organization that shows up to World Sight Day celebrations, but is in the hospitals and communities in Malawi, Kenya, India, Kinshasa, and Haiti every day. I want the photo opportunity to be of people living independently – going to school – earning income – and enjoying their families even if they have low vision. In fact, in the next few months cbm will celebrate its 10,000,000th cataract surgery in its history! That is a lot of days working.

Before you totally label me a curmudgeon let me say that if these days can help in raising awareness and resources and building relationships maybe they have value. At cbm, our job is to leverage them to result in impact 365 days of the year.