Giving back sight, and life too.


Abdu Kiwanuka, congratulations on receiving this Institut Cerba award! Can you introduce your association to us and explain the project that you are carrying out?  


I am a volunteer for Humanity First Uganda. Humanity First is an international aid and development organization which, as its name suggests, works to protect human life and dignity. It offers help to people in need, regardless of caste, creed, color or religion.   

Since 2018, I have been responsible for the "Gift of Sight" project, one of the eight projects run by Humanity First Uganda. Its objective is to provide disadvantaged people with eye care and equipment: glasses, eye drops, eye exams, but also surgery when necessary. The association finances many cataract operations, which too often are beyond the patient’s means. However, this simple operation can enable a blind person to regain their sight overnight. In Uganda, according to the data I have so far collected, in the rural camps where we run the project, for every 4 people examined, 1 has a cataract.  



Was there a particular event that pushed you to embrace this cause?  


I don’t remember a particular trigger that led me to get involved. I have always been very conscious of the high value of human life, and I have always been committed to giving my time and the means I have at my disposal to protect it. And that is exactly what Humanity First is all about, so I have embraced it wholeheartedly! 

Although there was no real trigger for me, the life stories I see on a daily basis make me want to go on and on. The latest example is the mother of a five-year-old child who regained her sight after two operations and was able to see her child for the first time. I have the impression that these people are reborn, that a new life is offered to them thanks to the care they receive through the organization. 



A person can regain their sight from one day to the next through a simple cataract operation, an operation that all too often is beyond the patient’s means.


Head of the Chemistry Department at Lancet Laboratories Uganda 

How did you react when you heard that your project had been selected?  


I was extremely proud when I received the email announcing the results. This is the largest donation I have ever been able to secure locally for the charity. I immediately shared the news with the other Humanity First volunteers. We decided to allocate all the money to the next Gift of Sight campaign, which will be organized in the Masaka region in the west of the country. We expect to receive around 1,000 people from the region and perform 90 cataract operations, and so the prize will cover a good part of the expenses, bearing in mind that a cataract operation carried out as part of our health campaigns costs about 240,000 Ugandan shillings (about 60 euros). 



Any final words you would like to share with us?  


I would like to thank Institut Cerba for its support. I am very happy to work for a Group that is committed and actively contributing to the preservation of human life.