Grey Mist Lifting

A Weekly Blog About Lives Changed Through Eye Care

Lorie Gibson, former Vice-President of International Programs

Free training transforms a young woman’s life


Imagine growing up in a slum where your family sleeps in a cramped hut and can barely afford to eat. Now imagine rising out of that poverty and becoming a respected medical professional in the community. That’s the story of Mabbula Liviza.

Mabbula Liviza (Photo by Jo-Lynne Sutherland)

I met Mabbula earlier this year while in Hyderabad, where I visited the Rasoolpura slum. Hyderabad may be a glamorous and prosperous place, but like most cities in India, it has large pockets of dire poverty. But here’s the funny thing about India’s slums. Yes, they are squalid and unpleasant, but a slum is not necessarily a dead end. Typically, it is a way-station for people seeking opportunity.

That opportunity came to Mabbula thanks to free training, made possible by Operation Eyesight donors.

This bright young woman serves as the vision technician at the eye clinic in Rasoolpura. When she was a child, her family took full advantage of what education was available in the slum, and Mabbula excelled.

But regardless of her education, she might have lived her life in poverty if she hadn’t learned about the opportunity to be trained at the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVP), also in Hyderabad. She faced stiff competition for a place in the class, and she had to work hard throughout the accelerated three-month training program. The fact that she is female made the process even more challenging, but she did it.

Mabbula Liviza (left) meets with a resident of Hyderabad’s Rasoolpura slum.

Mabbula is very good at her job. Not only has she been well-trained, she is part of a network of support and professional development opportunities, with LVP at the hub.

But perhaps most important of all, she is already acquainted with the people who come to her – she’s one of them. They are comfortable discussing their health issues and she gives them information and advice which serves to prevent eye problems in the first place. She is helping her community to be free of avoidable blindness.

When I met with Mabbula, she smiled a lot – it was clear that she is thrilled with her job and very appreciative for the changes in her life. She in turn is helping to change the lives of struggling people around her. To the generous donors who give to Operation Eyesight and made all this possible, Mabbula says thanks.

Vision technicians like Mabbula are desperately needed throughout India. Their ability to provide primary eye care through diagnosis and basic treatment is the foundation of an effective eye health system. You can provide training for someone like Mabbula – visit our online Gift Guide today to learn how.

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