Our Seva family continues to grow by the day, reaching every corner of the world. We recently heard from one inspiring supporter, Pat Haley, about his connection to our mission and why he chooses to support Seva – we had to share his uplifting message with you!
Pat has a remarkable career helping children living with special needs as a teacher, school administrator, project director, and grant writer. A few years ago, things changed. His vision began to deteriorate, and he required cataract surgery to restore his sight.
A Vision Center is a permanent, local establishment equipped to meet 80% of all eye care needs. Set up in primarily remote communities, they are a beacon of light for those with limited access to vision care. These centers support the local economy, often expanding job opportunities for women and underserved populations.
We are thrilled to share that 33 new Vision Centers were inaugurated across Bangladesh and India in the past few months.
“It feels miraculous to watch people regain their sight, but it’s a miracle that we can all make happen. Seva Foundation, the Grand Prize Winner of this year’s Holiday Impact Prize, is transforming people’s lives for as little as $50 per cataract surgery. Seva works in more than 20 countries abroad and in Native American communities in the United States, and nothing is more joyous than seeing the impact of its work on people who had thought they would never see again.”
Over Valentine’s Day weekend, Seva supporters spread the love in the most memorable way possible – through music, fun, and festivities!
From February 11-14, we held our popular Sing Out For Seva Quarantine Concert – A Valentine’s Special, featuring never before seen archival footage from past benefit concerts. Viewers tuned in from all over the world and sang along to Crosby & Nash, Joan Baez & David Grisman, Jason Mraz, Los Lobos, Bob Weir & Steve Kimock, and many more star-studded performances. The one and only Wavy Gravy hosted the concert and also featured special guests Rising Appalachia, Elvin Bishop, and Dumpstaphunk.
Parmila is from Sri Lanka, a small island located in the middle of a mighty river called Koshi and one of the remotest settlements in eastern Nepal. It can only be reached by boat, as pictured above, and is inhabited by people living with financial means.
When our Youth Outreach Team visited the island, they learned that there were many cataract patients, but only the men had been prioritized to receive care. The women were confined to household chores, and their eyesight was thought to be less important. Sadly, these women believed that this was their fate – to live in darkness forever.
In late February, Indian-American singing group Soor Aur Saptak (SAS) held its eleventh annual musical benefit in Portland, Oregon. The theme of this year’s benefit was “Your melody matches mine,” and rightly so. It was a captivating night of Bollywood music, dancing, and singing – all while raising funds to provide eye care for children in India.
Sandhiprakash Bhide, Founder of Soor Aur Saptak, shared, “we cannot believe it has been 11 years since we started this program back in 2012. This would not have been possible without the generous Portland community and now the world community because of our online program.”
The need for quality access to eye care in Bangladesh is paramount – nearly 3X the population here lives with blindness compared to the United States. Seva has worked in Bangladesh since 2005, prioritizing increased access to eye care, training of ophthalmic personnel, and focusing on evidence-based solutions with local partners.
This year, Seva will be establishing seven new Vision Centers across the country, creating access to eye care for an additional 700,000 people. To make this possible, a generous family agreed to match all donations up to $250,000 to raise a total of $500,000 – and we met our campaign goal! If you donated or spread the word about this campaign – thank you!
Speaking of Bangladesh, in March, Seva’s Executive Director, Kate Moynihan, was joined by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus for a special edition of Conversations with Kate – In Service of Bangladesh: This Time through Sight. The session focused on our partnership with Grameen Healthcare and our collaborative eye care efforts in the country.
Early on, Kuldeep recognized that investing in eye care improves someone’s vision and touches on every other facet of their life. In his words, “eye care is everything!” Congrats to him on this well-deserved achievement!
“Restoring sight touches all parts of life – health, job secrurity, dignity, and opportunity. It impacts not just one person but entire families and communities. Investing in eye care is one of the most impactful development interventions and I am grateful to be part of such an incredible organization dedicated to this important mission.”
The word MOM upside down is WOW. And that’s exactly how we feel.
She cradled us in her arms and carried us on her back. Held our hands, so we wouldn’t fall. Built bridges so we could cross. Ran so we could walk. A superhero and one of our favorite sights to see. Moms run the world – and we celebrate them!
Happy Mother’s Day to the moms, sisters, grandmothers, and caretakers who light up our lives with love and joy!
p.s. You’ve created access to vital eye care women around the world – individuals who are now leading their lives fiercely and fearlessly. On behalf of them, thank you! If you’d like to help more moms regain their vision back this Mother’s Day, please donate here.
They help us take our first steps, teach us to keep our heads high, and support us in every which way.
And through the years, you’ve helped moms around the world regain their sight, and with it, regain their lives. But don’t just take our word for it – meet a few of the inspiring women who are living happier lives because of you!