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We met Farah at the Bocins Open and Youth Centre, part of the Vinya Foundation, in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. The Foundation’s mission is to offer services to, and accompany, minors and adults at risk of social exclusion.

9-year-old Farah had never had an eye test and so, when we visited the Centre, we checked her eyesight and found her to have high myopia in the left eye and moderate myopia in the right. Given the seriousness of her case, we referred her to the IMO Foundation, which works together with us on all those cases we find that need specialised ophthalmological care. In effect¸ they confirmed that Farah was seriously myopic. Such a shame that nobody had picked up on her case any earlier.

Thanks to the treatment we and our associates gave her, Farah now wears her own special glasses which allow her to see clearly and pay better attention to her schoolwork, without feeling dizzy or suffering headaches.

This is what she tells us:

Had it ever occurred to you that your sight wasn’t too good? Yes, I had noticed that things looked blurry.

When was the first time you realised there was something wrong with your eyesight? What symptoms did you have and how did you feel? In second grade, I was seated right at the back of the class and, as I couldn’t see the blackboard clearly, I had to copy my classmate’s note. When my teacher saw the problems I was having, she spoke to me and moved me to the front row so I could see better. Everything looked blurry and the letters ran into each other. And, whenever they dimmed the lights so we could watch a movie in class, my head would start to really hurt and I would feel dizzy.

How did you hear about our Etnia Barcelona Foundation? It was during an extra class I was taking at Vinya Foundation. That very same day I had my first eye test and that was when they saw I was myopic.

How has your life changed since you’ve been wearing glasses? Now I can see properly, I can read, do my homework better and, my school marks have even gone up! The truth is I can pay better attention in class because I can see the blackboard properly and my headaches and dizziness have disappeared.

What would you say to another boy or girl in a similar situation to you? First of all, I would ask them if they’ve ever been to an optician. If not, I would suggest they went to see the people at the Etnia Barcelona Foundation, because just like they helped me, they could also help him or her.

We at Etnia Barcelona Foundation are delighted to see how Farah can at last follow her classes properly and how her academic performance has improved.

We would most particularly like to thank the Vision for Life de Essilor Institution for its cooperation in our projects. Not only do they have extensive experience in working in the optical sector, their philanthropic programme seeks to enhance any initiative that aims to help overcome problems people may have with their eyesight. What’s more, Essilor disinterestedly provides us with all the lenses we need for our “Looking into your eyes” project

We would also like to thank our good friends at the IMO Foundation for taking on all those cases in which we find a need for specialised ophthalmological care. On each of our visits we always find two or three patients who we end up referring to them. Many, many thanks to IMO and to all the volunteers and others who help make our project a reality!