Ed’s Thoughts on Meeting Faith and the Reality of her Future
Faith is a beautiful, spunky, 2-year-old who is blind. She walks around her house with small, confident steps and calls loudly to anyone around her.
She won my heart, and I firmly believe that if she has the right support, she will have a good life.
We did all we could to help Faith. To try to give her the miracle of sight.
When doctors looked closer at her eye condition, they realized that sight for Faith just wasn’t possible.
Could we have saved her sight earlier on if the paediatric eye unit had been built years ago? I don’t know for sure.
But with the right support, you and I have every reason to believe Faith will live a good life.
The flip side of that is, without support, I worry for this little girl…
We were abandoned. My husband just left because of Faith’s condition.
– ALINAFE, FAITH’S MOM
Sexual abuse, stigma, loneliness, deep poverty, illiteracy – these are the rule, not the exception for kids like Faith.
This is what Faith and her mom are up against.
I don’t want to candy coat this. As I watched this spitfire of a girl step her way bravely around her rocky yard, as I watched the wheels of her brain turn as her fingers took in my face, the mask, comparing it to her mom’s face, without the mask… as I listened to her coughs and growls and chortles of curiosity… I had a heavy heart.
I should have been watching her antics with utter delight. But instead, I was calculating the odds.
What are the odds that Faith will be supported at the packed, cash-strapped local school? What are the odds that Faith won’t be targeted by bullies and left behind by kids she wants as friends? What are the odds Faith won’t be raped and neglected and ostracized?
What are the odds that Faith’s lion spirit won’t be crushed?
And what are the harrowing choices her mom will have to make to keep her daughter fed? Faith’s mom is young and on her own.
She rents a small market stall where she sells some cakes, but it’s not enough for her and her child to have regular meals. Not enough for balanced nutritious food. Protein is a rare treat.
At what point will this loving mom run out of hope? At what point will her despair eat away at her determination and her fight for her daughter?
Sorry to batter you with so many unanswered questions. I know this is hard to read. But these are the realities for children living with blindness in communities in rural Malawi.
It’s why the paediatric eye unit is so vital. To give the amazing miracle of sight to as many kids as we can.
It’s also why we can’t throw up our hands and turn away when our best medical interventions don’t work as we intended.
The outreach pillar of this Sight4Kids program will ensure that we’re there for Faith and her mom.
It will give Faith’s mom the practical understanding, the early education support, the livelihood support to keep her hope and love burning bright and hot.
It will give her the tools to champion and protect her beautiful daughter.
Faith is a child with more than enough smarts and spirit to grab life with both hands. She’s already a glorious display of God’s handiwork.
She just needs us to give her a chance to be all that she can be.