The Seva Foundation, one of our recommended charities, has restored the eyesight of 3.5 million men, women, and children in the last 35 years. In honor of World Sight Day (October 9), we’re excited to announce a matched gift partnership between Seva and Focusing Philanthropy. From now until World Sight Day, Focusing Philanthropy will match your donation to Seva.
It only costs $50 to perform one life-changing cataract surgery. Today’s guest post from the Seva Foundation shows us how we can double our impact on this year’s World Sight Day.
On October 9, World Sight Day, the global philanthropic community turns our attention to the fact that 80 percent of blindness and low-vision can be prevented or cured. Around the globe, 285 million people suffer with blindness or refractive error. The majority of these people live in parts of the developing world where there is no access to eye care.
A donation of just $50 will save a person’s eyesight, removing cataract and correcting other conditions that cause reversible blindness. You support also helps Seva train local eye care professionals, and build permanent eye clinics in remote and impoverished locations—including rural Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
This World Sight Day, Focusing Philanthropy has teamed up with Seva to restore sight to 6,400 people in need. To encourage larger gifts, Focusing Philanthropy has announced that they will generously match donations of $1,000 and above made to Seva’s World Sight Day campaign through the Focusing Philanthropy website.
Patients receive surgeries to restore eyesight in Tikapur, Nepal in 2012. Photo credit: Julie Nestingen
“The match motivates people to stretch their giving,” said Julie Nestingen, Seva’s Development Director. “That just means more people will have their sight restored this year.”
Jack Blanks, Seva’s Executive Director, also highlights the importance of this campaign.
“What better way to celebrate World Sight Day than by restoring sight to the poorest of the poor, free of charge? Our campaign with Focusing Philanthropy includes more than free cataract surgery alone. We will be running screening campaigns in very remote communities to find those who are blind. We’ll also provide transport to those who need it, a place to sleep, and follow up care to those who receive surgery,” Blanks said.
“The poor who are blind face many barriers to accessing surgery, even when offered free. We want to remove all barriers for this campaign, just as our programs strive to do year round,” he added.
Women and youths receive routine eye checks in Tanzania. Photo credit: Deborah Moses
All of us at Seva, on behalf of the people we serve, want to thank everyone who has already given to support this incredible World Sight Day campaign. Our goal is to raise $320,000. To date the campaign has raised $267,589, enough to restore sight to 5,352 people.
We hope The Life You Can Save's community will continue to support Seva and help us reach our goal of saving 6,400 people's sight.
In order to double your gift of $1000 or more, please visit www.seva.org/focusingphilanthropy through October 9. Gifts under $1,000 can be made directly to Seva by visiting www.seva.org/worldsightday.
To learn more, watch this video from last year’s World Sight Day campaign: