Last year 3,594,344 individuals’ lives changed for the better. 3.5 million moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, and friends received vital eye care services, medicine, and treatment through Seva.
This year, we also crossed the 50 million mark of people served with eye care services through Seva and partners since 1978. This achievement rests on over four decades of pioneering sustainable eye care solutions with some of the world’s most compassionate, smart, and talented team of staff, partners, and supporters – this includes YOU!
Read more about the specific activities, analytics, and personal stories of Seva’s work this past year. We are another step closer to ending the public health crisis of avoidable blindness – Seva’s impact, affordability, and sustainability is a big reason why Nicholas Kristof honored us with the 2021 Grand Holiday Impact Prize. As he said, “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.”
From the world-wide Seva team, Happy World Sight Day!
Each year, on this day we recommit ourselves to closing the gap between those with and without access to eye care.
90% of people who live with vision loss are in developing countries where eye care is limited or nonexistent. What does that mean? A life without sight = a life often limited in education, employment, and independence that can ultimately throw families into cycles of poverty. For us, solving this crisis boils down to two things:
Science, data, and comprehensive public health solutions work best when coupled with compassion, community, and a little fun. Want to put a stat on this theory? Since 1978, over 50 million people have received eye care services through your support!
A First-of-Its-Kind Plan to Eliminate Avoidable Blindness in Guatemala
Globally, 1.1 billion people live with vision impairment. In remote communities and developing countries, where access to eye care is limited, this can lead to generations of hardship. Today, we stand at an important moment in history – the beginning of the end of avoidable blindness, first in Guatemala, then across the world.
If you’ve ever wondered about our vibrant history, the people, ideas and solutions that make the magic of restoring sight possible, and all those untold “Seva stories” you heard through the grapevine – look no further! We dug through 40+ years of rich Seva archives, asked our teams around the world, and are here to give you that exclusive, behind-the-scenes look.
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.
We take the work seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously! Seva Co-Founders Wavy Gravy & Jahanara Romney – a dynamic duo, hippie icons, and pair of saints – taught us that. They’ve dedicated their lives to public service, activism, and spreading unconditional joy.
“Those who experienced the founders’ period know how close to the heart of Seva the delicate dance between spirit and form is, between inner and outer. Seva was at its strongest when these dualities worked together with respect and in dynamic balance. It was also true that Seva took the longest strides and generated the most satisfying fellowship when actions were firmly rooted in the conscious effort to be of service to others.
Service and spirit are the heart of the Seva vision. These notions did not originate with Seva, nor has Seva any copyright on either of them, but in explorations that took place over many years, through many meetings and in diverse projects around the world, by heated argument and in loving story, a distinctive rendering of the vision of service and spirit took form at the very heart of this organization. Honoring in notion and in practice the core of its founding vision – even as it may adopt conventional forms of management – is how Seva can continue to be an inspiring source of this needed wisdom and a vehicle to carry it into the future.
Then the unique and potent spirit that has animated Seva from its founding will continue to be vital and will find new ways to be expressed within this evolving organization.”
Seva shares special history with Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, as a supporter, ambassador, and our first partner in Bangladesh. Since 2006, we’ve worked together to establish hospitals, perfect our training programs, and establish sustainable systems of eye care throughout the country that reach millions.
Half the Sky – a book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published in 2009 – argues that the oppression of women worldwide is “the paramount moral challenge” of the present era. Women and girls face gender bias daily, particularly in rural communities.