Search. Discover. Book

A story so heartwarming, I cry tears of joy!

Lalibela Game Reserve - Community Outreach -Khayone new glasses

A story so heartwarming, I cry tears of joy!!!!”

This 8 year old boy, Khayone, has had severe eye problems since birth. We believe he is of exceptional intelligence and has managed to get through school simply by listening to what the teacher says – till recently, he could not even see the board at the front of his classroom.   

His mother has had no financial means to get him tested and our school system in South Africa, of course, just doesn’t get involved! After various phone calls and enquiries, and with the assistance of St John’s ambulance optometry department and SpecSavers South Africa, we were able to have him tested and glasses made for him. HUGE shout out from Lalibela to SpecSavers for their generosity!

The effect that the new glasses, and sight, had on Khayone was profound – he simply stood still for 15 minutes, silent, and took in all the sights he was seeing for the first time in his life. I cannot imagine being witness to any experience more moving than this!” said Charmaine Gradwell, head of community development at Lalibela.

Khayone is back at school now and has full vision. We cannot believe that he was actually held back a year at school when his only limitation was being born severely short sighted. Charmaine says that Khayone is one of the brightest 8 years olds she’s ever seen (and Charmaine is a teacher by training). We at Lalibela believe that we need to do whatever we can to give him the best opportunity possible so we will monitor his academic progress this year and decide if we should try to get him to attend school in the nearby town of Grahamstown next year. The quality of the education in Grahamstown will be his best chance of doing justice to the intellect that he has been blessed with and to achieving his potential.

We thank our past guests for all the assistance you have given to our various projects and programmes. And we thank St Johns Ambulance and SpecSavers South Africa for changing Khayone’s life.

If you have any questions about our community upliftment projects, programmes and plans, please contact Charmaine Gradwell at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *