In Search of the Light

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in Indonesia, affecting 1.5 percent of the total population. Though most often a condition that comes with aging and afflicts the elderly, cataracts can also affect the very young. Alif, a 3-year-old from Krenggan village in Jombang district, East Java, suffers from congenital cataracts, a condition he has had since birth. He can perceive strong sources of light, and typically seeks them out. His parents cannot afford to pay for surgery to treat his cataracts, and the various free programs offered by charities are unable to treat the condition in very young children.