Kids at risk of going blind rescued through education

By July 29, 2011

South Asia (MNN) — Imagine waking up and finding that your whole world is dark. Not because the sun hasn't come up yet, but because you are suddenly blind. You will never watch the brilliant colors of a sunset. You will never see the faces of family members.

What if you knew there was a way it could have been prevented?

Bible college students with Gospel for Asia (GFA) recently responded to the crisis of blindness in children of developing countries. Educational rallies were held at GFA's Bridge of Hope children centers across South Asia.

Blindness has claimed the eyesight of 12 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. 19 million children are deemed visually impaired.

90 percent of these cases are in developing countries. Many cases of blindness could have been stopped by simple education on the needed vitamins and prevention techniques.

A key vitamin necessary for eyesight is vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in foods such as spinach, eggs, cantaloupes, milk and carrots (looks like the eye doctors were right.)

Unfortunately, the developing world is hit the hardest with blindness because kids in poverty often don't have access to these foods with vitamin A. Malnourishment increases the risk that a child will one day go blind.

Part of Gospel for Asia's crusade against blindness is to provide vitamin A drops to the children at Bridge of Hope centers. These drops are taken by mouth and substitute when the needed food with vitamin A is not available.

On top of giving these vitamin A drops to the kids at Bridge of Hope, Bible college students also went out into the village communities to administer vitamin A drops to the elderly. Conditions such as cataracts and myopia put the older generations of a community at high risk to blindness.

Free informative literature was also handed out to further teach people on the causes and prevention of blindness.

This outreach ministry of eyesight education is just one program brought to the children at Bridge of Hope and their community. Bridge of Hope centers exist to educate kids and share the love of Christ.

Children who are enrolled in a Bridge of Hope center learn Bible verses, hear Bible stories and are taught songs that share the Gospel message.

By bringing in a ministry that helps prevent blindness in kids, these Bible college students paved the way for kids at Bridge of Hope to grow seeing the world around them and hopefully come to see the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

See GFA's slide show here.

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