Bringing Hope to Visually Impaired Neighbors

Congolese graduate, Naomy Nkoy, earned a bachelor's degree in Health Services Management in 2020.Naomy Nkoy, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, graduated from Africa University in 2020 with a  Bachelor of Health Services Management degree. Emboldened to chase her dreams and give back, Naomi recently founded “Touch of Change”—an organization focusing on the welfare of people who are visually impaired and their children.

An estimated one percent of Africans are legally blind, with cataracts, glaucoma, and trachoma being the main causes. Often, the conditions leading to blindness are preventable and curable. Timely medical interventions to prevent permanent eye damage are simply beyond the reach of many, leading to irreversible blindness.

Adding another  layer of complexity , the children of the blind and destitute  often become the “eyes” of the blind parent, assisting in the solicitation of money from well- wishers, as mobility  guides in the navigation of cities that do not cater to PWD’s, and as a pillar of support in daily routines, often at the expense of their own education and progression.

Through “Touch of Change”, Naomy is reaching out to destitute visually impaired parents and their children. The organization aims to support education, enhance community awareness, and expand interaction to alleviate feelings of isolation and build social skills.

“This desire to help others is driven by the generosity that was shown to me at Africa University," Naomy said. “Like so many other African students, I had the passion to advance my studies but was short on funds. Africa University took me in and exposed to me possibilities I had never imagined before.

They saw what I could become and invested in me and my dreams through the provision of a full scholarship. I imagine what my life would have been had I not been blessed in this way it is this that gives me the impetus to do what I do.  To give hope and shine the way as AU did for me,” said Naomy.

Tuition scholarships, gifted to Africa University by the United Methodist Women of Los Altos United Methodist Church, helped Naomy to complete her degree.  “Touch of Change” is based in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and operates in the Manicaland Province.

Adapted from an article by Jeanette Dadzie, Office of Advancement and Public Affairs, Africa University.