Call it a cliché, but when you see it in action, you know you’re witnessing something special. Seva’s partners worldwide have faced some challenging circumstances over the past twelve months, making the provision of critical eye care to people in need more difficult. But thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, when the going got tough, the tough could get going!
Take for example, Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH), one of our partners in Uttar Pradesh, India. When COVID-19 hit India hard last year, many people who needed eye care weren’t able to visit the clinic. So in the town of Naujheel, the clinic’s team took eye care to the people’s doorsteps instead.
The International Association of Blindness (IAPB) created the Vision Excellence Award to commemorate the end of its 21-year global initiative, VISION 2020: A Right to Sight. In recognition of their life-changing, world-transforming work in the field of humanitarian eye care, IAPB has recognized a total of ten Seva team members and partners with the prize.
“On behalf of the whole Seva family, congratulations to these extraordinary sight leaders and practitioners,” says Kate Moynihan, Executive Director of Seva Foundation. “Seva staff and partners consistently set the standard for patient-centered vision care. Today’s award winners share the commitment and quality of work that brings access to sustainable eye care to millions of individuals and their communities worldwide. I can’t wait to see how – together – we will continue to change the world.”
Thank you for supporting Seva and making these incredible accomplishments possible!
Wisely and from the start, founders and staff of the Seva Foundation knew to listen. We do now, as they did then. We listen to the local and international scientific/social/technical experts, we listen to one another, and most importantly – we carefully listen to the communities and individuals we serve. From listening, we can achieve a pathway to equity.
Equity has always been a stated core value for the Seva Foundation and continues to be the guiding light for our decision making.
Through our decades of service, we came to understand that women and girls were far less likely than men to receive treatment, and for severe vision loss, the inequity increases. With your contributions, sight-saving programs were developed, along with more healthy communities. Seva is here, driving change, unlocking local excellence to address the inequity. Regaining sight is transformative and it results in better futures, especially for women and girls.
The antidote to injustice is equity, and the mechanism for change is listening. Thank you for listening throughout the years and for supporting Seva to transform lives across the world.
A New Year brings a new opportunity to recommit to equity. Every day our staff, partners, and board of directors work tirelessly to ensure that one day, every child will wake up in a world where they have access to care for avoidable blindness.
AGILITY – I’ve been thinking about the meaning of this word lately. Thinking quickly, under pressure, and needing to make skillful decisions. Every one of us is agile these days.
I’m proud of the agility I see in my team and our partners here in the US and across the globe. Over the past several months, as the world changed, we leaned into our core values of compassion in action, equity, and respect. By doing so, we were able to support those in need. We saw agility in the form of innovations in telemedicine, new safety protocols, and diagnosing patients remotely.
While we understand the work we do is serious, we don’t take ourselves seriously. This wisdom is the gift from one of our most beloved co-founders, Wavy Gravy. He celebrated his birthday earlier this year under quarantine and via a live stream concert. His opening welcome was videotaped at his home, and the footage used was pulled from earlier shows.
There are 19 million children worldwide under the age of 15 who live with impaired vision. In 2018, moved by this alarming statistic, Seva made a commitment to screen 1 million children and provide all necessary follow-up care by December 2020. This major undertaking was supported by Seva’s corporate partner, MODO, and other Seva supporters.
At Seva, from our work with eye care professionals, hospitals, and partners in over 20+ countries, we’ve witnessed first hand the transformative power of community health. By partnering directly with the communities we serve to co-create innovative eye care solutions, we can reach more people with the sight-restoring treatment they need and, in turn, transform more lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be one of the most pressing global health challenges of our time. Seva is thankful for all the brave frontline and essential workers who have tirelessly risked their lives in support of others. We are also thankful for you and your continued support in ensuring that our partners receive the vital resources they need in the face of this crisis.
For most of her life, Shakeela Bibi did not realize she had a vision problem. A 14-year old girl living in Pakistan, Shakeela had to drop out of school after two years because she could not keep up with her peers. She had trouble reading the blackboard and would copy off of other students’ notes instead.
We believe that all children should be able to play, learn, and grow. Unfortunately, according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.4 million children globally are blind, and 19 million live with some form of visual impairment. At Seva, we know that to create a world free of avoidable childhood blindness, we must screen children for vision impairment as early as possible and identify and provide treatment to those in need. This means meeting and screening children where they are – at schools, at home, and in their community.