Dubai: Artist with rare disease launches online gallery to raise funds for tropical illnesses

Brook Yeshtila has had a form of arthritis that has immobilised his body except his arms



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 3 Jun 2022, 4:40 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Jun 2022, 10:20 PM

An inspiring artist from Ethiopia, who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, has launched an online gallery to raise funds in support of the Reach Campaign’s efforts to eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in African countries.

Since the age of 17, Brook Yeshtila has had a rare form of arthritis that has immobilised his entire body except his arms. For the past 10 years, he has suffered from this condition. But he has redirected his energy, keeping an optimistic focus on his blessings, to protect others from NTDs through his artwork.

Yeshtila is supporting the Reach Campaign by launching a series of paintings under the theme ‘The Sight’ in Dubai. The gallery specifically aims to raise awareness of river blindness – a disease that currently affects over 200 million people worldwide. From the online auction, 10 per cent of all sales will be allocated to the campaign until September 1, 2022.

The online gallery was launched with a 49-piece exhibition at the Media One Hotel in Dubai Marina. Yeshtila said: “This showcase was a big challenge for me and it has created an amazing feeling in my heart. It’s been a lot of pain but I hope this inspires people around the world.”

The Reach Campaign sought to continue a journey of philanthropy that started with the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his vision for the future of this country.

Over the past 10 years, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has committed over $350 million to improving health outcomes across the world.

In 2017, Sheikh Mohamed launched the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF), a 10-year initiative aimed at eliminating river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in African countries.

Yeshitila’s artworks can be purchased through: https://www.brookandart.com/shop2/. And direct donation to the campaign can be done by texting the word GIVE to 2424 or visiting: https://www.reachtheend.org/ for more information.

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