The eyes have it

April 2, 2013

Just before Christmas, Blossom came back from a day spent working out at the school at Chbar Chros, out in the provinces, which is funded and run by the awesome charity CamKids. She mentioned that she’d seen a 14-year-old kid there who was almost totally blind – he had to hold a book parallel to his right ear to read it, and yet he was helping other kids with their reading.

Apparently he had been able to see fine until he was four or five, when his mother said his hair got too long and got in his eyes, and after that his sight got worse, until he ended up with only something like 5 percent of his sight.

Koung Vith

Koung Vith

“Well,” I told Blossom, “We should get someone to take a look at him. It sounds like it might be curable.” So we discussed it for a bit, and Blossom made some phone calls. And to cut a long story a bit shorter, last week he had his second and final operation, and now has 95 percent sight in both eyes.

It was, apparently, cataracts, which I’d thought it might be. And now they’re gone.

I tell this story not because it does me any credit, much as I’d love some, but simply to show how easy it is to make a difference. It’s not that no one cared about Koung Vith, but no one knew what to do, and his needs got a bit lost, and what with the school having grown from zero pupils to 219 in twelve months, people were a bit tied up. But with a little bit of shoving, he got the help and treatment he so badly needed, and instead of being a burden on his family and community, now he has a seriously improved chance of a decent life. Thanks must go to CamKids and One-2-One who did all the heavy lifting on this.

He said just after his last operation: “I can watch everything and won’t be shy of others like before.” That warms my heart.

Koung Vith last week

Koung Vith last week

All of the staff of CamKids are volunteers; no one makes any money off the charity. If you feel like bunging them anything to help any of the thousands of incredibly impoverished kids in Cambodia, please do.


4 Responses to “The eyes have it”

  1. Gigi D said

    We are often reminded to be thankful for the many things we take for granted. Can you imagine how beautiful the world looks to him? Touching-thank yoi for sharing.

  2. I can’t seem to donate to the charity.. the paypal link doesn’t work for me 😦

  3. MarkS said

    Heart-warming story Ru! Hope you’re enjoying life in Cambodia

  4. Reblogged this on Adventures in Southeast Asia and commented:
    Looking for somewhere to volunteer in Cambodia? Check out Here’s a blog post from The Mighty Penh about his experience with the charity.

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