Goats, chickens and donkeys from charities such as Oxfam  and World Vision  have been the Christmas gifts of choice for many over the last few years, but now a charity has come up with another unique gift that is bound to prove a hit this yuletide - the gift of sight.
If you are stuck for an idea for your nearest and dearest this Christmas but want to buy something more satisfying than a pair of Santa socks, then the charity Sightsavers International  is giving the chance to impress a loved one no end, and make a miracle happen by assisting somebody in the developing world to see again.
Sightsavers International  has launched an online alternative giving scheme, Gift of Sight. The most popular selling present is a cataract operation. This simple operation costs, on average, £17 to perform on an adult and £27 on a child, and takes a mere 20 minutes to do. Yet for individuals in some of the world’s most disadvantaged countries, the impact of having their sight restored will last a lifetime.
According to the British Retail Consortium, children in the UK at Christmas receive presents totalling a value of more than £250. Sightsavers, one of the UK’s leading blindness charities, is asking people to consider spending the equivalent of just one-tenth of that on transforming the life of a child
Paying towards a cataract operation through the Gift of Sight contributes to much more than just the surgery itself. It also helps fund the pre-screening process, the patient’s transport costs, training of ophthalmic staff and educational materials.
Other inspirational Christmas shopping ideas can be found on the Gift of Sight website . Once the purchase has been made, a card is sent with a personal message to the person on whose behalf you are giving the gift. It explains how the charity gift supports Sightsavers’ projects in eye care, education and the rehabilitation of people who are blind and visually impaired.