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A Million Miracles

It’s thought that 20 million people worldwide are blind because of cataracts. Thanks to your support, we’re working to change this by raising money for a million cataract operations.

Winesi March and his wife embrace at the joy of his sight being restored.

A Million Miracles is Sightsavers’ most ambitious campaign to date.

With your help, we want to raise £30 million to provide sight-saving cataract surgery in some of the world’s poorest and most remote communities. An adult cataract operation costs £30, so reaching our goal will mean we can restore the sight of one million people.

Since A Million Miracles launched in 2014, you have helped us to restore the sight of thousands of adults and children. This year we’ll be announcing the final results – watch out for an update soon.

For now, though, we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who have supported this campaign and made it a huge success.

“My life has completely changed – I am able to see my wife, my children and my grandchildren again.”
Winesi March, Malawi
Winesi cleebrating, very happy after surgery.

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a small build-up of protein in the eye that, if left untreated, can cause blurred vision and eventual blindness. Cataracts can be present from birth, or can be brought on by old age or trauma to the eye.

For most adults, cataracts are completely reversible, but for children there’s an urgency to treat them quickly. Cataracts can stop a child’s eyes from developing properly, and if the cataracts are not treated in time the child’s sight may never return, leaving them permanently blind.

Why is restoring sight so important?

For many people living in poor, rural communities, life without sight can be particularly difficult. If a blind parent needs to rely on their children, those children often miss out on an education. And if a blind child needs to rely on their parents, those parents often can’t earn enough to feed themselves and their family.

Children and adults with visual impairments can be shunned by their family or community, leaving them with very little social interaction. Even the simplest journey can also be extremely dangerous, especially if they live near a lake or river.

Two medical staff in the operating theatre preparing for a cataract operation.

How we treat cataracts

Sight can be restored with a straightforward operation that takes as little as 20 minutes.

More about surgery

More people you’ve supported

Winesi looking at the camera.
Sightsavers Reports

Winesi’s story

Winesi’s sight had been deteriorating for more than a decade, leaving him reliant on his family. Thanks to cataract surgery, he is now able to return to farming, enabling him to support his wife and children.

Laurinda laughing and clapping after cataract surgery.
Sightsavers Reports

Laurinda’s story

Laurinda had been blind for four years. But after a cataract operation to save her sight, she is able to work again and grow crops to feed her family.

Criscent proudly wearing his new glasses, as he stands in some woods on the way to his village in Uganda.
Sightsavers Reports

Criscent’s story

Six-year-old Criscent was born with cataracts, leaving him unable to play or go to school. But his sight was restored with a straightforward operation as part of the Seeing is Believing project in Uganda.

A girl is reading a book at home while wearing glasses.
Sightsavers Reports

Smriti’s story

Smriti, who lives in Uchitpurhad in Bangladesh, had cataracts in both eyes, and her poor vision took away much of her confidence. We visit her six years after her cataract operation to see how her life has changed.

Dr Anselmo with eye technician Domingos Geraldo and Signtsavers' Christina Abudo outside Ribaue Hospital.
Sightsavers Reports

Meet the outreach team saving sight in Mozambique

In Nampula province, there are only three ophthalmologists who are qualified to perform cataract operations on a population of nearly four million people.

Nazondani Mologeni, 76, sitting on her bed in hopsital.
Sightsavers Reports

Nazondani’s story

At the age of 76, Nazondani still worked on a farm with her husband, but cataracts in both eyes made everyday life a challenge. Now her sight has been restored through surgery.