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All proceeds from the book are donated to the Himalayan Cataract Project
Eagle Eyes is a children’s book about Kofi, an eleven year-old Ghanaian boy who thinks only about soccer and being an international star. Kofi’s parents become extremely concerned about his lack of interest in his school work and lack of concern for the feelings of others. When Kofi’s uncle, an ophthalmologist, comes to his grandfather’s village with his American colleague to perform cataract surgery, Kofi’s grandfather is one of the patients in need of the surgery.
After the operation, Kofi observes his grandfather’s emotion as he sees Kofi for the first time. This experience, combined with Kofi’s hero worship of his uncle, inspires him to apply himself to his schoolwork and greatly increases his empathy with others. He comes to the realization that there is much more to life than soccer.
The genesis of this book was my being fortunate enough to accompany Dr Geoff Tabin on a trip to Ghana. Dr Tabin is co-founder of the Himalayan Catataract Project, the goal of which is to eliminate treatable blindness in the world. Dr Tabin not only performs the surgery in many countries but also teaches the technique to local doctors.
The goal of the Ghana visit was to treat cataracts in two locations, one of which was Bonsasso, a village selected by the UN Millenium Villages Project. Headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Project’s goal is to enable impoverished villages to escape extreme poverty by investing in health, food production, education, access to clean water, and essential infrastructure.
Dr Tabin’s team screened 6000 people in Bonsasso. Those who needed antibiotics or spectacles were provided with them and those with cataracts who required surgery were taken by the Millenium Project bus to a hospital with electricity two hours away. Over the space of three days 157 cataracts were removed. Later, at Tamale, in the north, the team performed 300 more procedures.
Jackie Mitchard, a #1 New York Times’ best selling author, has written eleven novels for adults and children. An example of her remarkable talents is that even though she has never been to Ghana, she was able to capture accurately the essence and rhythms of life there. She knows how to tell a compelling story. It is hoped that Eagle Eyes will be inspiring as well as entertaining.