Opinion | Choose a gift that changes lives


Restore a person’s sight. My latest award is the Himalayan Cataract Project, also known as Cure Blindness, which fights blindness in Asia and Africa. It’s also a good deal: the surgery can cost as little as $ 25 per person or $ 50 for both eyes.

The Himalayan Cataract Project was founded by Dr Sanduk Ruit, a Nepalese ophthalmologist who helped develop a technique for microsurgery for cataract (the ‘Nepal method’), and Dr Geoff Tabin of the Faculty of Medicine of the Stanford University. I traveled to the remote town of Hetauda, ​​Nepal, to watch doctors perform the surgeries – and I have rarely seen anything so exhilarating.

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After years of blindness, a 50-year-old woman, Thuli Maya Thing, was among those lined up for the operation. “I can’t go get firewood or water,” she told me. “I fall several times. I was burnt by fire.

A day after the operation, I watched her bandages come off. She blinked, then smiled dazedly at seeing her surroundings for the first time in years. Doctors tested her vision and found it to be 20/20.

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“I used to crawl around,” she says, “and now I can get up and walk.”

I have seen many humanitarian interventions all over the world, and there is hardly anything as cheap, quick and transformative as cataract surgery. It sounds biblical, as the blind see it again – and get their lives back.

The KristofImpact.org webpage should help you support and learn more about these three organizations. Focusing Philanthropy, a non-profit organization I have partnered with, will process reader contributions through the webpage and report back to you on the results.

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Focusing Philanthropy will also pay the credit card transaction fees of your donation, so that 100 cents on the dollar will go to your designated charity.


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