Every day, Fatmata brings little Aicha with her to the market, where they sit for hours selling oranges. Due to the cataracts clouding her vision, the sweet, impish two-year-old can’t see the colourful world around her — a fact that brings her family sorrow.

At the Mercy Ships eye screening, Aicha’s response to the flashlight’s beam of light was an indicator that there was hope. “It amazed me that something so small like seeing light was worth smiling about in her world of darkness,” Larina Brink, Mercy Ships volunteer ophthalmic clinical technician said. “I just knew that the surgery would turn out well because of her being able to follow the light as I moved it around. My heart was filled with joy to be able to offer her surgery that would open the world up to her.”

“When they removed the bandages, I saw my daughter as a woman for the first time,” Fatmata said. “I saw that everything people said about her was wrong. She was like a new person. She was dancing and laughing.”

“People in the market say, ‘Aicha is a new person now; her witchcraft is gone; it’s unbelievable,’” Fatmata said. “They say it’s magic — but it was no magic. She was sick and now she is healed. I have no words to express how happy I am.”

There’s no force fiercer than a mother’s love for her child. Fatmata proved this day by day saying, “I love my baby, no matter what people say about her.” And now, this little one will be able to grow up seeing her mother’s love firsthand, reflected in her own eyes.



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