Deborah Cullen says she felt disorientated when she returned home to Calgary, AB after a trip to Africa.
“Africa is very humbling. It gets you,” she says. “There’s such culture shock when you come back to our land of plenty. We have so much; we’re so safe here. We turn on our taps and the water is good. We can drink, bathe, keep our hands and faces clean.” Deborah says the realization of how fortunate she was to live in Canada was stunning. “I felt I had to step in and help.”
She has done just that, generously contributing to Operation Eyesight’s water projects in Kenya and Zambia, and donating towards a much-needed 4×4 vehicle for Kitale Eye Hospital in Kenya. The vehicle will be highly utilized over coming years for transporting medical teams and patients over Kenya’s notoriously rough roads.
Deborah feels especially empathetic towards mothers trying to help their families. A mother of three adult children, she lost her only son very suddenly last year. Iain had a number of special needs and was considered legally blind.
“Think of the challenges people living in developing countries face! Think of being blind. What if simple cleanliness or a drug could help you? Think of a mother in Africa. How can she take care of her children, keep them safe, keep them from losing their sight? She would be so thankful for the work Operation Eyesight does. In all humbleness, she would ask for more – not just for her family or her village, more for her people. If you can give more, she would accept it gratefully. She would pass it on.”
Deborah would like to tell everyone she knows that it doesn’t matter how much money you give to Operation Eyesight (or any other worthwhile cause), it just matters that if you can give, give. “Eventually it will all add up.”
You can read more about our work in Africa in our Report to Donors.