Wednesday, 17 April 2024
Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Cataract survivor turned CEO: A global visionary for sight restoration

NAIF Sheikh is the CEO of the leading global humanitarian charity, Muntada Aid. The charity operates in some of the world’s most vulnerable places and provides much-needed assistance to communities that have been affected by disasters, conflicts, and the cycle of poverty. 

Naif experienced many cultures while growing up living in multiple countries in the Middle East and the UK and saw first-hand how healthcare differed globally. As a youngster, he was a passionate cricket player and during a game, he was hit in the eye with a ball which caused him to have a cataract in one eye which he was fortunately able to get fixed through a fairly simple operation.

Having been through this difficult period where he thought he might lose his vision in one eye and learning about so many countries where people have no access to this simple operation, he became passionate about helping as many people who were impacted by this condition as possible.

Having worked for charities for 17 years he was delighted to be able to join Muntada Aid as CEO two years ago. He was aware of the amazing work the charity was involved in many poor and underdeveloped countries.

Along with cataract operations, the charity also runs other health-related missions including Little Hearts, which provides free life-saving heart surgeries to children with congenital heart defects. Another condition that is important to Naif personally as his father suffered from a heart condition.

Outside of health, the charity also provides remote villages across Africa with access to drinking water. It also provides education and even builds schools and universities in some of the most underdeveloped countries in the world such as Mali in Africa and offers humanitarian help in emergencies such as the recent earthquake in Turkey.

Naif and the charity’s ultimate goal is to develop healthy and sustainable communities worldwide. Through implementing innovative social, economic, education, and health and wellbeing programmes they aim to empower those denied social justice and human dignity, in order to make a lasting change in the world.

For example, Naif has implemented extensive research into why cataracts are so prevalent in the younger population in certain countries. From this research, the team are now providing sunglasses to help protect the population’s eyes as this was found to be a significant cause of cataracts for many.

He aims to build a caring and dignified world where everyone is free from poverty and has access to education and healthcare. He believes to do this we have to break the cycle of poverty which is why education is so important and providing more than just aid to these countries. Helping local economies and ensuring people have jobs and a future helps make real impactful changes.

To find out more about Naif, the team and Muntada Aid please visit: www.muntadaaid.org.

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