Mere | The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ


Globally, women account for over 60% of all those who are blind.

Globally, women account for over 60% of all those who are blind.

Globally, women account for over 60% of all those who are blind.

Mere was one of these women living with vision loss. Over six years her sight was slowly taken from her by dense cataracts—something that could have been avoided if she simply had access to eye care sooner.

A keen gardener, Mere continued to sell her produce at the village market, but even walking had become a challenge. Her small hut is built on an uneven, pot-holed site, forcing her to shuffle, one foot in front of the other, to feel her way around.

Mere’s neighbour told us how difficult daily life had become, “Without her eyesight, Mere could not cook or lift things, it was too dangerous. Mere could not even wash her own hair.” Mere was absolutely devastated to lose her independence and the ability to look after her family.

Thanks to donations from people like you, our Mobile Eye Clinic Team can now carry out eye screenings and perform sight-restoring surgeries across Fiji.

When the time came to take off the bandages, Mere, taking a moment to adjust, stared intently ahead at the eye chart. She took a deep breath, reached an arm around the nurses waist, and wept with joy—there wasn’t a dry eye in the clinic.

"I was so scared my eyes would be closed forever, but now I can see properly, I can run! I can plant my seeds and sell my vegetables. When my son comes, I will see him at the end of the street!"

Four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be – they just need access to eye care.

We work to end avoidable blindness in the Pacific by putting desperately needed eye healthcare within reach for everyone.

Fred said that as human beings, we must do things to help each other.

The serious lack of access to eye care in the remote Pacific is causing too many to suffer from avoidable blindness. Please send a gift today to help return sight to more people like Mere.

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What we can do

Help keep Fred’s dream alive.

4 out of 5 people who are blind in the developing world don't need to be. Routine treatment costing as little as $25 can restore sight and hope.

Make a donation

Call us: 0800 227 229