Meet the Team: Kashif Malik
I am currently majoring in biological sciences at Arizona State University. This is my first time accompanying the Humanity First Gift of Sight team to Guatemala, and as a volunteer, I hope to assist with patient care and lend a helping hand where ever I can. I joined the Gift of Sight team in order to volunteer my time for a great cause and to witness the immediate impact physicians can have on a community lacking proper healthcare.
Support the Gift of Sight team and make a contribution today — any amount can make a difference.
Mon, 1st Oct — 0 notes
Tue, 1st Nov — 19 notes
Final dinner and meeting with some HF Guatemala & HF USA team members.
Not pictured in group photo: Dr. Amna Malik, Alissa Constable, Aliya Latif, Saifra Khan & HF Guatemala medical team members.
Volunteer Insight: Dr. Ahsan M. Khan
We’ve begun our second Gift of Sight eye camp in Guatemala. The venue has moved to the remote town of Chichicastenango, which is about two hours outside of Guatemala City. There are also many new faces on the team this year as only three members of the 2010 team have returned. What hasn’t changed, however, is the overwhelming sense of purpose and gratification gained from helping the wonderful people of Guatemala.
Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to meet Maria Panchal Sequez, an elderly 79 year-old Mayan woman who traveled to our clinic from a remote village. I first noticed her as I was walking past the long lines of patients waiting to be seen at Proyecto Salud y Paz. She seemed frail and was wearing a bright violet Mayan blouse. Maria had a dense white cataract in her right eye which was clearly visible from afar. She was accompanied by her husband, Miguel, a tall, thin, sun-tanned man with deep wrinkles on his face, donning a sombrero and an old over-worn Boston Celtics sweatshirt. He stared at me without expression, perhaps because he wasn’t sure if he should trust me (or perhaps because he somehow knew I was a Lakers fan).
Maria couldn’t see me well as I greeted her, but expressed her gratitude in her own Quichean dialect. Through a translator, we explained her need for cataract surgery. She was eager to see again and expressed her excitement. But I couldn’t erase the obvious concern on Miguel’s face. He appeared reluctant, but stood by Maria’s side throughout the entire process.
Maria’s cataract surgery, though challenging and longer than usual, was a success. She left the clinic with a patch on her eye and returned with her husband this morning. As we took the patch off, she opened up her eye and began reading letters, probably for the first time in a long time. The smile on her face was unforgettable. I embraced her as she expressed her gratitude and thanked her for her cooperation and trust. Best of all, Miguel finally cracked a grin too. But he was still wearing that old Celtics sweatshirt. Now if I could only get him to see the light.
- Dr. Ahsan M. Khan
Wed, 26th Oct — 149 notes
Meet the Team: Saifra Khan
Since we are headed to Guatemala is a few hours, now would probably be a good time to introduce myself properly. This year’s mission to Guatemala will be my first experience with the Gift of Sight program and I will be joining the team as the photographer and blogger. I have been working with Humanity First for a few years now; I began volunteering locally in Chicago while I was an undergraduate student at Loyola University of Chicago, and later, I helped organize the annual Walk for Humanity in Chicago for a few years. I also manage the updates on official social media outlets for Humanity First, USA. I currently work in finance, but I have always had an interest in health care issues. Volunteering with the Gift of Sight team is not only giving me the chance to be a part of a great cause, but it is also a way for me to gain more hands-on exposure to global health issues, which is relevant to my future education plans in global health management and policy.
A few of the team members are already in Guatemala, and the rest of us will be joining them tomorrow. We have an early flight out of Houston in the morning, so it’s time for me to catch up on my sleep. Keep an eye on our tweets throughout the upcoming week at @HFUSA to follow the Gift of Sight team as we help put humanity first!
Sun, 23rd Oct — 1 note