When Marie Aimée in Madagascar was 14 years old she noticed that she couldn’t see things as clearly as those around her and would often suffer from headaches. She carried on as best as she could, unaware that a simple pair of glasses could bring her world into focus.
The school that she attended was also unaware that prescription glasses would help Marie Amée and advised her to take a month off school to rest her eyes. Thankfully, she had an opportunity to attend a vision screening in her hometown. At the screening she was prescribed a pair of glasses that would change her life.
Marie Amée was a shy girl and she didn’t want to stand out in class as the kid who had to wear glasses. She didn’t find them fashionable but her parents encouraged her to wear her new glasses and she obliged because she wanted to continue learning. She didn’t want to have to take a month off of school. She had big dreams of becoming a journalist.
The glasses made a huge difference in Marie Amée’s life. Now at 59 years of age, she is not the journalist she thought she would be. She changed her career goals when she was impressed by the pastor teaching at her Sunday School.
Today, Marie Amée is the Director of a school, helping and encouraging Madagascar’s next generation of children attain their goals and dreams. And she hasn’t stopped taking care of her vision. Every 2 years she gets her eyes checked.
We recently met Marie Amée at the new Community Eye Centre (CEC) in Ambilobe, the first in the entire country run by our partner, the SALFA Eye Clinic in Sambava. She was visiting the CEC for her regular eye exam and because she’s been having trouble reading at work. It’s time for her to get another life-changing pair of glasses but this time, they will be reading glasses!
Marie Amée is so happy there is a CEC so she doesn’t have to travel as far as she used to and can easily access new prescription and now, new reading glasses!
You can help women just like Marie Amée see and succeed by supporting community-based programs that help overcome the barriers to accessing eye care.