“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.”
The beginning of any year allows us to reflect on the previous year and be reinspired by the hopes we have for the year ahead. It’s also time for us to aim for a brighter tomorrow, setting new goals for the future. Here at Seva, the team and our partners engage in a highly inclusive and reflective process. With a set of carefully selected questions we uncover the most successful patterns from the work of the past that allow us to plan for a great year.
We do this in two distinct parts. First we review, learn from, and celebrate the year we are leaving behind. In the second part, our questions and challenges are all about the future. Together with our clients, partners, staff, and board members we are dreaming, planning, and preparing to help the most number of people gain access to comprehensive eye care.
Since the pandemic began I’ve looked to each of you as proof of how strong the Seva fabric can be. Together our resilience, ingenuity, and creativity shone through for the people who need us the most. In fact, millions of people – 2.8 to be more precise – relied on the Seva Foundation’s network of world-class partners to provide services through the pandemic. You helped to navigate this new world, deliver critical eye care, and spread good where it does the most.
Another thing happened: Former NY Times journalist Nicholas Kristof named Seva the Grand Prize winner of the 2021 Holiday Impact Prize. This was a big deal for our organization, the partners we work alongside and the difference this mission makes in the world. It is affirmation from one of the most renowned and celebrated journalists of our time, that Seva is seen for who we are: an organization that believes how we work in this world is as important as what we do, and the sustainable impact we have. For me personally, this award solidifies the thread that connects us from the origins of Seva in the 70’s to the staff and board of today – we are forever bound by a commitment to world class science paired with human compassion.
As we embark on the next normal, know that we – here at the Seva Foundation – are renewed and ready for the year ahead. I invite you to let the mission and work of Seva be one of the guiding points on your own compass that you follow this coming year.
Renowned philanthropist Peter Singer has won the Berggruen Prize, and he’s giving away $100,000 from the prize money to three of The Life You Can Save’s recommended charities based on a public vote – Seva won $30,000!
Each dollar goes directly to provide critical eye care, medicine, and treatment to underserved communities. That means thousands can go back to school, work or serve their communities! It’s never been so simple to transform lives!