Yusuf Barume, a 40 year old Congolese refugee, lives in Kagoma village block 3A in Kyangwali refugee settlement, Western Uganda with eight members of his family.
“I left Congo in 2009 to flee the war. When I came here I was unable to read. Each time I would try to read I would get tears flowing in my eyes. I had a lot of itching. I could feel objects moving in my eye. For my work as a religious leader I have to regularly update myself in the Koran. Life became difficult.”
Happily for Yusuf, AAH Uganda brought an optician to Kyangwali to assess and correct vision problems. Community social workers visited villages to identify people needing treatment and refer them to the optical clinic for assessment.
“The community social worker from Rwenyawawa health centre told us that doctors were coming to help those who had eye problems so I also joined in to get treatment. We were examined and after some time the community social worker told me I could go and pick my glasses from the community services office.”
AAH Uganda works with refugees to increase their capacity for self-reliance. More than 65 people, like Yusuf, who had their sight corrected or restored are now once more able to carry out daily tasks such as weaving and gardening work to help support themselves and their families.
Yusuf Barume is grateful to be able to see well enough to read and write again.
“I thank AAH for supporting me to restore my vision when they provided me with eye glasses. I am now able to read. I plan to enrol for English lessons here in Kyangwali. This dream was not there before.”
As told to Mpaso Kampanya, Community Support Officer – Kyangwali Refugee Settlement