Relief for Human Suffering Foundation

R4HS Foundation provides free eye clinic and sight saving cataract surgeries in Ondo, Nigeria

The Foundation provides free eye clinic and sight saving cataract/ pterygium surgeries to nearly 600 impoverished individuals in Ondo, Nigeria.

Mayowa regains his sight on July 5, following the outreach in Ondo, Nigeria

Meet Mayowa, a 14-year-old student who battled blindness in his right eye since the tender age of 4. His family, trapped in the grip of poverty, couldn’t afford the treatment he desperately needed. Imagine the struggle – unable to see the world, unable to read, unable to dream. 

But on July 5, 2023, everything changed. In Ondo, Nigeria, during an outreach event that began on June 26, 2023, Mayowa was one of nearly 600 individuals who received free screening, glasses, or life-changing cataract surgeries. This miracle was possible thanks to a collaboration between Relief for Human Suffering Foundation (R4HSF), Eye Foundation Community Hospital (EFCH), and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

R4HSF, founded by Benson Fayehun, a native of Ondo, has been tirelessly working since 2021 to bring the gift of sight to communities in Nigeria and Cameroon. Since its inception, R4HSF has partnered with local organizations to provide free eye screenings, cataract surgeries, and refractive error corrections to over 10,000 people across communities in Nigeria and Cameroon.

This outreach in Ondo, in partnership with EFCH and The Church, was a testament to their commitment to change lives. Through the generous collaboration with The Church, patients received not only surgeries but also transportation and the use of facilities for the duration of the outreach.

Photo of R4HS Foundation volunteers with many humanitarian recipients in Africa
A small army of volunteers from The church and crowd of patients waiting their turn for eye screening during the outreach in Ondo, Nigeria

“Caring for those in temporal need is part of the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And we believe that it is the responsibility of everyone to be prepared so they can care for themselves, their families, and others in times of need. We are therefore pleased that through this outreach, a number of people who previously had vision impairments have regained their sights and can now go back on their own paths of self reliance.” Said Frederick Akinbo, President, Nigeria Ibadan Mission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Imagine the joy of Dorcas, an 83-year-old grandmother who had lived in darkness for 50 years due to cataracts. The left eye was operated in 2014, but she hadn’t been able to do anything with the right eye for a number of reasons, including inability to pay. She hesitantly attended the outreach and, after a much-needed surgery, regained her sight. Tears of happiness flowed as she saw the world anew.

R4HSF’s mission is to ensure that birthplace and circumstances don’t determine a person’s access to sight. They strive not only to restore vision but also to empower individuals toward self-reliance.

Dorcas at the hospital immediately after the bandages were removed and vision restored to her right eye after surgery on July 5, and for the first time in 50 years

R4HSF’s mission is to ensure that birthplace and circumstances don’t determine a person’s access to sight. They strive not only to restore vision but also to empower individuals toward self-reliance.

As Benson Fayehun puts it, “Close to 90% of the estimated 10M visual impairments in Nigeria are cataracts or refractive errors. These are very easily addressable impairments but aren’t for many people because of poverty. As a result, a significant number of people are blind or on the road to blindness for something easily addressable. That doesn’t sit well with us and is one of the reasons why we feel it is not only important to address these impairments, but where possible, we must connect recipients of our charity to resources that can help put them on a path to self-reliance.”

“The outreach program at Eye Foundation Community Hospital was born out of its founder’s dream to ‘make a quiet impact in the field of sight restoration and prevention of blindness in Nigeria.’ Amazing partners like Relief for Human Suffering Foundation enables us to truly touch the lives of those that would otherwise not have access to appropriate care.” Said Dr Feyidamilola Hassan-Oyewumi, Vision Center Program Director, EFCH.

The outreach process involves identifying high-need communities, dispatching mobile teams, and conducting screenings, surgeries, and post-operative care. Volunteers and local partners are the heroes who make it all possible.

Foundation founder helping a blind older man
Benson Fayehun, Founder & President, R4HSF (In dark shirt, to the right) assisting an elderly blind patient on day 1 of the outreach

R4HSF dreams of a world where preventable blindness is eradicated, and this dream drives their tireless efforts. Their collaboration with organizations like The Church marks the beginning of a journey to change lives across Africa.

As part of the outreach in Ondo, everyone that went through the event was given an opportunity to watch a brief 5 minutes video presentation by R4HSF on the impact of preventable blindness globally and in Africa, especially Nigeria. The video shared helpful information on the link between poverty and preventable blindness, how Self Reliance was the key to breaking the link, and high level details about BYU-Pathway Worldwide, a low cost online educational program of the church.

Zacceous, A medical staff with EFCH, outfitting a patient with a pair of reading glasses during the outreach

The highlight of the outreach event in Ondo, as it is for all outreaches, is the moment the eye patches are taken off, and formerly blind patients can see again. For Mayowa, that means he could now focus better on his studies and education. He and his parents are grateful to the sponsors of the outreach. For Dorcas, it’s a whole new world as she relishes her new found ability to see after so long “I was doubtful that it could be done at first and even asked for a pair or prescription glasses instead. But I am glad I took a leap of faith to receive the surgery and I feel so happy that what was impossible for 50 years, has finally been achieved by R4HSF”, said Dorcas

Most of the operations of the foundation is run by volunteers who are the lifeblood of the organization and the reason why they have been able to so far devote 100% of public donations to the work since their founding in 2021. R4HSF is not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any religious organizations.

Photo of a group of women dancing with joy after receiving sight saving surgeries in Nigeria
A few of the 58 patients identified for cataract surgeries during the outreach, dancing joyously post arrival from the hospital after surgery and receiving their sight on July 6.

Over the next few years, the Foundation hopes to expand its collaboration with organizations like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as its partnership with trusted local hospitals across Africa to increase public awareness about preventable blindness and the important role of self reliance in breaking the devastating link between poverty and blindness in developing countries. They will accomplish this through ongoing community efforts and by working with trusted local partners/ collaborators believing that only when every person or community is able to look after its own needs can truly the pandemic of preventable blindness be halted in Nigeria and every other developing countries.

Join us in making this vision a reality. Visit to learn more, volunteer, or donate. Your support can transform lives, just as it did for Mayowa, Dorcas, and countless others. Together, we can bring light to those in darkness. 🕊️ #RestoreVision #ChangeLives.