That’s what friends are for…

Written by Admin, published on August 30, 2013 Donate Today
Diallo before surgery.

What if you were destitute, blind and alone in a foreign country where no one spoke your language? How would you survive? This is the story of two friends, Alhaji and Diallo, and how their lives changed for the better, thanks to Operation Eyesight’s generous donors.

Alhaji had cataracts a few years ago, and fortunately, was able to make his way to Watborg Eye Hospital in Ghana, where his vision was restored free of charge through Operation Eyesight funding.

Because he was so happy with the results of his surgeries, Alhaji became a strong advocate for the hospital. Not only did he encourage neighbours and friends with eye problems to visit the doctors, he took the time to accompany them when he could.

One day, Alhaji arrived at Watborg with a man who was not only blind, but who wasn’t able to communicate with staff or patients in any common language or dialect. Fortunately, Alhaji had managed to converse with the man in broken French, and was able to tell the staff his name was Diallo.

Originally from the African country of Mali, Diallo was blind in the right eye from an injury he had sustained as a young boy herding cattle. As he grew older, his vision began to worsen in his left eye as well. Diallo told Alhaji he was too frightened to see a doctor – how would he survive if something went wrong and he lost sight in his other eye?

Alhaji (left) helped blind beggar Diallo get to medical care.

His fear held him back, and his vision got worse, to the point where he could not even go to the washroom unassisted. Finally, all that was left for him to do was beg. Diallo decided to travel to Ivory Coast and later Ghana, hoping to survive as a blind beggar.


When begging outside Ghana’s capital city of Accra, he was fortunate to meet Alhaji, who brought him to Watborg. After staff assessed Diallo’s condition, he underwent surgery. The results were positive, and now, he is able to see much better than before!

Today, Diallo and Alhaji tell others in their community about the skilled doctors who brought vision back to their lives. They bring to the hospital people who otherwise would have remained blind and who probably would be begging in the streets. The two friends are very grateful to donors like you who changed their lives. Thank you!

To learn more about the Watborg Eye Services, the hospital that made Diallo’s surgery possible, click here.