Close this search box.

Helping hands: Supporting the blind in Kenya

African man wearing sunglasses

Key Points

  • Blindness Awareness and Aid in Kenya: With over 224,000 people affected by blindness in Kenya, Embracing the World addresses the lack of ophthalmological services in rural areas. Regular medical camps are organized, and volunteer doctors conduct on-site examinations and treatment to support impoverished communities.
  • White C(r)ane Project for Blind Youth: AYUDH initiated the White C(r)ane Project in Kenya, distributing 300 canes to young blind students in the first phase. The project, driven by European youth, aims to raise awareness and funds for visual aids. An additional 70 canes were provided, emphasizing the ongoing relationship with young blind individuals. The project includes periodic visits to ensure the canes’ condition and aims to expand to other schools for the blind across Kenya.
  • Surgical Outreach in Rural Kenya: Embracing the World volunteers partnered with organizations like “Stop Blindness” and “Vision without Borders” to conduct 154 surgeries at the Busia Public Hospital. Taking place in a rural area, the surgeries addressed various eye conditions, including cataracts, Pterigium, Conjunctival Melanoma, and traumatic cataracts in young patients. The volunteer team’s efforts received gratitude from patients, and the reciprocal impact was evident as both volunteers and patients experienced the joy of restored vision.
23 August 2015
Main topic
Health Camps - Kenya
Related topics
AYUDH Healthcare Humanitarian

More than 224,000 people are affected by blindness in the country of Kenya. Despite this proliferation, however, most ophthalmological services are located in urban areas, leaving rural areas in need of support. Embracing the World aims to fill this void, organizing regular medical camps, sending volunteer doctors to impoverished areas for on-site medical examinations and treatment.

Swami Shubhamritananda greets African man

Visual Aids for Blind Youth

One year ago, AYUDH member Matthias Hofeld, as well as other European youth, initiated the White C(r)ane Project. The project aims to make life easier for young blind people in Kenya by raising awareness and fundraising for visual aids.

During the first phase, AYUDH members distributed 300 canes to young blind students in Kenya. Driven by a desire to maintain this relationship with young blind people in Kenya, The White C(r)ane Project has moved on to the next phase of this project. The project recognizes that the children in Kenya are still growing, and may need to exchange their cane for properly sized aids later. The kids and their parents also received a letter in writing and in Braille explaining how to make best use of their new visual aid

Since the initial 300, AYUDH members have been able to raise funds for an additional 70 canes to be given. Our volunteers in Kenya worked diligently with the African Braille Institute to find the most suitable and best quality canes. Once they were obtained, a special ceremony was held on April 11th, 2015 at the Thika Primary School of the visually impaired. It was led by Amma’s senior disciple Br. Shubamrita who handed over the new canes.

The ceremony emphasized the dreams and ambitions of these young people, and incorporated their artistic and musical skills. Together, the blind youth composed a song to express their gratitude towards Amma and Embracing the World.

In the next phase of the project, volunteers in Kenya will periodically visit the blind children, making sure that their canes are in good condition. Our volunteers aim to expand the project, scaling it to other schools for the blindacross Kenya.

Doctors perform eye surgery on patients

Surgical Outreach for Rural Residents

For the fourth time, our Embracing the World volunteers teamed up with “Stop Blindness” and “Vision without Borders” in a campaign to prevent blindness. Led by Isabel Maria Signes Soler from Spain, the team of volunteers conducted 154 surgeries at the Busia Public Hospital between April 10th and 19th, 2015.

Busia County is a rural area of Kenya, on the Uganda border. Local ophthalmologists selected patients through cataracts prescreening and other ambulatory procedures. The patients were extremely grateful to receive the comprehensive free treatment.

Patients sit in a line with bandages over their eyes

Most of the resulting surgeries were to remove cataracts, although other eye problems were also treated, such as Pterigium and Conjunctival Melanoma. Young patients aged 9-13 years were also surgically treated for traumatic cataracts. Presbyopia, a correctable eye condition, was widespread among those examined, and corrective reading glasses were given to the affected patients free of charge.

One elderly woman told the doctors that both of her two children had died, and now she was living alone with no one to help her. Her life had become extremely difficult, as her vision had greatly deteriorated. Her vision was less than 10% of normal in both eyes. The team performed cataract surgeries on each eye. After her successful surgeries, she danced with joy right in the operating room.

Another eye patient was a woman suffering from leprosy who could barely walk. She received surgery for both eyes and was overjoyed to regain her lost vision.

The governor of Busia County, Hon. Sospeter Odeke Ojaamong met with the doctors and expressed his heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Overall, this on-the-ground volunteer work was a reciprocal effort: both the volunteers and patients made heartfelt connections and experienced joy in the power of sight.

Surgeon prepares to operate

Latest news

Watch Amma’s daily livestream

Amma offers us the possibility to connect online with her on a daily basis. During these livestreams, we can meditate with Amma, chant bhajans (devotional singing) and hear spiritual teachings.

Registration is required to access these livestreams:

Add Your Heading Text Here