Ever had a time in your life when you consistently told yourself you couldn’t do something? That negative inner voice might lead you to becoming chronically depressed, and the doubt you are feeling may become reality for you.
Just ask Basson Mingishi, a 58-year old subsistence farmer who lives in Zambia with his wife and school-aged children.
Basson and his family dwell in a grass thatched hut in the town of Mwinilunga, where he has lived his entire life. Unfortunately, he gradually became blind a few years ago. As his vision failed, he became depressed – so depressed that he felt he didn’t want to live any more.
Blindness was a huge burden to him and his family. “Losing sight is the most painful thing I have ever experienced,” he told one of our staff. “A blind man is incomplete if he cannot see his family and cannot fend for them.” Too proud to beg, Basson sat alone in his hut, unable to work, refusing to eat or drink. Depression was a part of his daily routine.
Then one day, that routine changed. His wife talked to a community member who had his sight resorted at Mukinge Mission Hospital in Kasempa, Zambia. She convinced the dubious Basson to make the trip to the Operation Eyesight partner hospital, 450 km away.
There, Basson was diagnosed with cataracts, and surgeries were performed on both eyes free of cost to him. When the bandages came off, he could see again! Imagine his joy and his relief!
“I am very, very happy indeed. Thank you very much. God bless you. God increase your years on earth. You shall stay well and your children will also,” he elatedly told our staff.
Not only was Basson happy and relieved, he declared his intention to go back to Mwinilunga and convince others to have their eyes checked at the hospital. “Now I will be the ambassador for eye services,” he said with a smile. “Thank you!”
Learn more about Operation Eyesight’s work in Zambia and other countries by visiting our website!