Our recently-published report, entitled ‘The Economic and Social Cost of Blindness in India,’ uncovers the cost of vision impairment and the significant need for sustainable eye care. It also shares the solutions we are pioneering in this country. The key takeaway was that India is home to approximately 34 million people who live with blindness or moderate/severe vision impairment, costing the country US $54.4 billion each year.
Travel to Humla is an uphill and challenging journey. This remote Himalayan district in Nepal has no surface roads. It takes weeks to reach on foot from the nearest municipality. Shortage of food is also pervasive – many rely on rice transported from the Government to subsidize. As such, communities here have historically faced greater challenges in accessing education, employment, and healthcare facilities – including eye care.
And where there’s a need for sight, our team will arrive!
Led by Ram Prasad Kandel, Seva’s Program Director in Nepal, we completed a week-long trip to support two surgical eye camps & the establishment of a new Vision Center in the area. He documented the journey in his journal and wanted to share the following pages with you. In his own words, “Honestly, we cried – seven people were blind and one was blind for the past five years. It was the first time they had an eye camp there.”
Time, for a child, seems to stand still – especially when waiting for a much-anticipated surprise. For adults, it is another story. Have you ever thought, “I wish time would speed up”?
Planning for the future is key, and at Seva we are looking ahead, planning, and investing in a brighter future for all. That is why we invest your support in self-sustaining eye care solutions that will benefit a community for generations to come. Seva believes everyone deserves access to health resources. And this month, there is a renewed importance to this message as we recognize August as National Make-A-Will-Month!
This month, I invite you to join thousands of others around the country to create a legacy that lasts a lifetime. Seva has partnered with FreeWill to offer a free estate planning tool for our supporters. This easy-to-use tool allows you to create a will or Living Trust to protect your loved ones and provide a brighter future to millions in need by preserving and restoring sight through Seva’s programs. Make-a-will, make-a-difference!
Why create an estate plan, you ask?
It’s essential. Everyone needs a will, and creating one can help you exercise agency over the important decisions in life and protect the people you care about.
It’s your legacy. Your will is your opportunity to define your legacy on your own terms and create a lasting impact.
It lets you transform lives. FreeWill makes it simple to include Seva in your estate plan – all without paying a single cent today. Your legacy gift ensures that underserved communities receive vital eye care, treatment, and medicine now & far into the future.
Investing in Seva is investing in self-sustaining eye care programs that enable communities to thrive for years to come. I’d be honored if you joined this legacy and the many Seva supporters who choose to leave planned gifts. Watch the video below for more information on how to use FreeWill to meet your estate planning needs, and I invite you to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
When you think of Native American communities across the United States, what image comes to mind? For many, it is often the picture shown here, portrayed in the media, or in old western movies, but, what we often miss is that true Native beauty is vibrant, diverse, and endless!
My name is Jennifer Leo, and while this is the first time I’m writing to you, I’ve been with Seva for the last year as the Program Officer of our American Indian Sight Initiative. As a proud member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, I work hand-in-hand with Native partners to assess their unique needs and co-create solutions that strengthen our communities.
As a Native person, I have encountered many myths about Native communities. But, I want to help flip the lens. Let’s dig a bit deeper, and let me share a side of Native communities not often portrayed – the true beauty, joy, and even struggles we face. Come along to meet some of the partners you support, and who knows, you might even learn something new!
Even though we have never met, you & I are connected.
It may seem hard to believe, with so much that separates us. Your story may have started in a different place than mine, at a different time from mine, with different characters and plots. But, at this moment our paths meet.
This connection among all people is something I learned from my dad. As a little girl and a proud member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, I remember my dad telling me stories. Sometimes they were about himself. Sometimes they were about my aunties, or my grandfather. And, sometimes they were about my ancestors from long ago. I remember he told me about a time my grandmother had no food to feed him for dinner. So, she washed him, and wrapped him in a blanket and sang him to sleep, to take his mind off his empty stomach.
I grew up hearing these stories, learning the details of lives of people I had never met. One day, my dad took me to a mesa, and he said, “Do you know why I tell you all of these stories?” I shook my head no. And he said, “Until today, when you looked in the mirror, you have seen only yourself. After today, – you will see all of us, looking back at you.”
We’re part of so many stories. There are those in which we know for sure what role we play and the impact we have on other’s lives and the world – like the role of a mother, father, grandparent, student or teacher. But then there are some stories that we forget we’re a part of. Stories in which we help transform a life. We, here at Seva, wanted to remind you of the difference you make every day. After all, you’re a big part of this story too:
Cast a net, and dream as big and far as you can (and then some!) That’s what Bhagwandeen, from Madhya Pradesh, India, believes in. At 102-years young – the oldest man in his village! – Bhagwandeen loves to live his life with unwavering joy and a sense of adventure.
From the Himalayan mountains to the Amazonian rainforests of Peru, Seva delivers vital eye care to 20+ countries. So pack your virtual bags, and take a trip with us right from your screens to witness the beauty you create in this world.
First Stop BANGLADESH
Since 2006, Seva has worked in Bangladesh to deliver vital eye care, treatment, and resources for those in remote communities. Here, the rate of blindness is nearly 3X that of the United States. Access to eye care is everything.
Earlier this year, we set out to raise funds for 7 new Vision Centers (VC) across the country, matched by a generous family – and we achieved it, together! These new VCs, currently in development, will create immediate access to eye care for 700,000 people in remote areas and will address up to 80% of all of their eye care needs!
And we’re back…with another Seva Quiz! Ever wonder about the people, places, and solutions that guide our work? Well, look no further! We asked our team, dug our archives, and have a brand new & fun game of trivia to see how well you know the magic that makes Seva possible.
Sadly, vision impairment continues to rob millions of people every year of a promising future. At Seva we know that this is a solvable public health crisis. 90% of all vision loss is preventable and treatable. Our research validates that investing in eye health improves overall wellbeing, community participation, and economic outlook for families.