I spent my December vacation with family in Nigeria. I had a nice time but even more fulfilling was the time I spent working on the 5bucksforcataract campaign.
The 5bucksforcataract campaign is a charity campaign I launched in August 2016 that aims at doing good well, that is, what is the smallest amount of intervention that can be made to give the most impactful effect.
This I have found to be a tough one because we are much more driven, generally, to give based on our emotions (what the Nobel Laureate, Danny would have called (Systems 1) compared to giving based on reason, an utilitarian approach (Systems 2).
I asked myself, how practical could I do good (very well) given the resources I had access to? I have heard about cataract growing up, but I was ignorant of the cheap cost of treating one – about $100 per patient to remove the cataract through a surgery.
I contacted an Ophthalmologist in the town I grew up, in Nigeria, to confirm if they conduct cataract surgeries, fortunately they do. So, I decided to launch the campaign raising funds for the indigents – those who can’t afford the treatment.
In December 2016, while home, we had a round of surgery and I decided to shoot a short documentary through the help of families and friends.
It was a wonderful experience meeting some of these folks and to literally feel the joy they expressed.
One of the beneficiary, Samuel Oyedokun a 16 year old High School Student who lives in Ipetumodu, Nigeria, has one of his eye completely blind as a result of cataract, we had a nice chat prior his surgery and probably because I love playing soccer one of the things he said about himself that captivated me was that he tries as much as he could to play soccer (he plays defense).
Samuel’s excitement after the entire process was ineffable. At that point, it strikes me even deeper, “if we can prevent something bad without sacrificing anything else of comparable significance we ought to do it”.
One thing that was surprising was one of the patients who was suppose to benefit from the free surgery, an old woman, who based off my assessment was one of most indigent in the group.
She came in for the free cataract screening a day prior to surgery, but refused to go ahead with the surgery the next day because she thinks getting a free surgery was literally, too good to be true. Unfortunately, our counselling couldn’t change our mind
The campaign’s goal is to treat 100 patients. At this point we have 25 people with their sights back, and 75 more to go. Your support will be appreciated. Many thanks to our donors. The Fundraising still continues
Donation page on gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/5bucksforcataract
Visit the campaign page: http://bifarinthefifth.com/5bucksforcataract/