Alpha and David sight restored

Brothers Alpha and David live in Makump, 40km from Makeni, northern Sierra Leone. They are both pupils at the local United Methodist Church School.

UMC school

Alpha, aged 13, would love to train to be a doctor when he leaves school. He is a keen student and has good marks which place him 7th best in his year of 37 students. His class teacher, however, had to move Alpha to the front of the class 2 years ago as he was no longer able to see what was written on the board. His younger brother, David, aged 10, faced similar struggles to see the blackboard and so he also had to sit at the front of his class of 53 students. At night time David was finding it almost impossible to read his text books and both brothers were struggling to fetch water from the pump as their eyesight was becoming too poor.


Fortunately Hassan Conteh, the headmaster of UMC, received a letter from the eyecare charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO), informing him of their upcoming visit to Makeni and their intention to visit Makump to carry out eye screening in the community and at his school. This would be the first time an eyecare team had ever visited their town and everyone was excited, especially as the teachers knew that there were children in their classes who were struggling with eye problems.

When Alpha and David heard this news at the school assembly the next day they were hopeful that they might finally receive help.

The Vision Aid Overseas team arrived on Thursday 22nd November, 2018, to be met by the entire school, teachers and pupils, all expectantly awaiting their chance to be seen. Over the next few hours everyone was screened for their general eye health and those found to have difficulty with their vision were thoroughly examined to establish if their sight could be improved with spectacles.

When the time arrived for Alpha and David to be checked their poor sight was confirmed and, fortunately, a spectacle correction was found to make an enormous improvement. Their new glasses would be made at the Vision Centre, established by VAO at Makeni Hospital, and returned to them within a week. Measurements were made and a suitable frame was chosen by the boys.

The Vision Centre was commissioned 2 years previously and stocked with the latest equipment to produce accurate spectacle prescriptions. Sheriff Abu Bakarr, an Optometric Technician, trained by VAO, skillfully glazed the new spectacles and ensured their accuracy before they were delivered to the boys a few days later.

Alpha and David proudly wearing their new spectacles

Alpha can now sit further back in the class and is able to see well to study.

I am so thankful that Vision Aid Overseas came to visit our school and helped me to see again (Alpha)

The whole class was happy to see Alpha benefiting from his improved eyesight.

I can see so much clearer now. I hope to fulfill my dreams of becoming a police officer. I am so happy to see well (David)

Having finished school for the day Alpha and David returned home to relax, do their chores and to carry on with some extra studies.

Alpha and David’s family outside their home

If you would like to find out more about the sight restoring work of Vision Aid Overseas please follow the link below.

Created By
Graham Coates


All images copyrighted to Graham Coates