Annual Report 2019


See your impact at work


See your impact at work




eye surgeries

Without you, people with easily treated conditions would be unable to see.


people were
screened for eye conditions.

Without you, eye conditions would have gone undiagnosed and vision would be lost.


pairs of custom
prescription eyeglasses
were dispensed.

Without you, people would have gone without
a common tool to instantly correct their vision.


people were
trained to provide
eye health care.

Without you, hospitals wouldn’t have trained eye health care providers,
and health workers wouldn’t reach people in remote communities.

Without you, hospitals wouldn’t have trained eye health care providers, and health workers wouldn’t reach people in remote communities.


were drilled or

Without you, 5,250 people would have no
access to clean water in their communities.


villages were
declared avoidable

Because of you, 36,214 people in these villages have been screened and given the resources they need to ensure their families will not suffer from avoidable blindness.

Your gift provided surgery for Mercy and Shelvin, who had both suffered from cataracts since birth. When you restored their sight, you gave Mercy hope for a better future for herself and her one-year-old daughter. See the heartwarming story of how Mercy and her family had their sight restored.


Vision impairment is a human rights issue. We’ve heard from you, and we know you care about the inequities that increase the rate of avoidable blindness. You don’t want to see women and girls overlooked because they aren’t prioritized for treatment. You don’t want to see children miss out on education because they can’t afford an eye exam or prescription eyeglasses. And you don’t want to see families facing blinding conditions such as trachoma because they don’t have access to clean water.

Your impact creates a world where no one suffers from blindness that could be treated or could have been prevented, regardless of gender, age or socio-economic status.

Gender Inequity

In many countries, women and girls are often not prioritized for health care. They are also at increased risk for infectious eye diseases as they carry the burden of staying home to tend to household chores and caretaking responsibilities. Vision loss in women and girls can make it more likely that they will suffer from existing gender inequalities, such as limited education and employment opportunities. Because of your support, our community eye health programs allow us to reach every person in a village, regardless of gender.

Children and Eye Health

You’ve supported our school screening programs, which train teachers to screen students for eye issues and refer them for additional care, to ensure that every child gets access to eye health care, whether they can afford it or not. This model reduces the burden on the health care system and helps to ensure that no child is left behind. Your support allows community health workers to provide counselling to women around pre- and post-natal care, vitamin A supplementation and immunizations that give children a healthier start.

Access to Clean Water

Your support has enabled us to drill and repair boreholes, providing access to clean water for entire communities. Clean water is essential to building resilient communities, it reduces the burden on women and girls who generally have to haul water for the household, and it’s critical to overall health and well-being. With access to fresh water, people can wash their hands and faces and prevent the spread of bacterial infections such as blinding trachoma, diarrheal disease and upper-respiratory infections.


MISSION To prevent blindness and restore sight.

VISION The elimination of avoidable blindness.

In 2019, we declared 159 villages and communities as avoidable blindnessfree (ABF) in India and Nepal, for a total of 1,150 since 2014. Since then we have declared villages ABF in Kenya, and we are on track to making similar declarations in Zambia and Ghana soon.

Our method of declaring villages avoidable blindness-free has been validated by L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, a designated collaborating centre of the World Health Organization. Our model is also recognized by the governments of the countries where we work.

Our vision centres are widely recognized as a reliable means to providing quality eye care services at the community level. Thanks to longterm donors and funding from grants, including Seeing is Believing (a partnership between Standard Chartered Bank and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness), we established 28 new vision centres this year, for a total of 143.

In Africa, we’ve adopted all aspects of the WHO-recommended SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental management) strategy to eliminate trachoma. As a result, we have successfully reduced the prevalence of active trachoma to less than 5 per cent in the Sinazongwe district and in the Mkushi district of Zambia, and from a number of sub-counties of Narok county in Kenya. According to the WHO, a prevalence rate of less than 5 per cent is no longer a public health concern.

As part of the environmental management component of SAFE, we have drilled 175 new boreholes and rehabilitated over 100 dysfunctional boreholes to bring clean water to communities and minimize the spread of trachoma. We have also ensured local committees are in place to take responsibility for the maintenance of the boreholes and to manage fair distribution of water.

In 2019 alone, the world-class Operation Eyesight Eye Cancer Institute within L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad screened 51,413 patients, and diagnosed 1,402 children with eye cancer. A total of 1,956 children were treated for eye cancer. This institute primarily treats children, including children from across India, from other Asian countries, and from African countries. The institute also trains ophthalmic personnel from across the world in diagnosis and treatment of eye cancer.

In 2019 we saw a 6.4 per cent increase in people accessing eye care services compared to the previous year. We saw a 10.1 per cent increase in cataract surgeries and other sight-saving surgeries we were able to provide.

We continue to remain focused on gender equity in our service provision. Of the total number of people we reached through our community eye health model during 2019, about 54 per cent were women and girls. In Zambia and Kenya, where women are overwhelmingly affected by blinding trachoma, 62 per cent of people who received surgery for trachomatous trichiasis (the blinding stage of trachoma, which can only be treated with surgery) were women.


For the second year in a row, we were recognized by Charity Intelligence Canada as a Top 10 Impact Charity, and a Top 10 International Impact Charity. This highlights the impact we create for every dollar we receive through donations. We work hard to ensure your donations go as far as possible to change lives.


In my second year with Operation Eyesight, I have seen so many examples of your impact at work. 2019 was a year filled with progress. We saw our community eye health model expand to new countries. You made it possible for us to increase the number of people who received quality eye health care and eye surgeries through our programs. And your support fueled programs that nearly eliminated blinding trachoma in entire districts. Our model of hospital-based community eye health care works, and we have seen the difference it makes in the lives of vulnerable people. Your support makes it possible for us to put this model to work.

As I write this, our plans for 2020 have taken a turn. COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, and it has brought our eye health outreach programs to a stand-still. We have refocused our efforts to address this urgent health crisis, and you have been by our side the entire time.

Our on-the-ground team in the countries where we work shifted our focus to understanding how we could contribute to the efforts of our hospital partners to provide supplies and education to help people protect themselves and their families.

Our donors were just as quick to provide help for people in need. We know that our donors are compassionate and want to help people who live in poverty, and can’t meet the basic needs of their families, including quality eye health care. These same people have been the most affected by COVID-19, and I am touched by the response of our donors. You have been by our side this entire time, saving lives with us. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for that.

You have supported our efforts to work with overwhelmed hospital and government partners to support health systems, ensuring that eye health won’t fall as a priority when this virus is under control. I’m hearing story after story from our international team about people who are so grateful that we’ve given them the tools they need to protect their families from COVID-19. You are giving people hope. You are making families strong. And you are making communities resilient.

Thank you. I hope you continue to be proud of the profound impact you are making during these unprecedented times for everyone’s health and well-being. We are honoured to have you by our side now, and into the future.

Aly Bandali
Former President and CEO


(Cumulative donations $5,000 and up in 2019)

The work we do would not be possible without the commitment and investment of every single one of our donors at all levels. We are also very grateful to those who have left gifts to Operation Eyesight in their wills, to donors who are giving anonymously, and to monthly donors. Thank you so much for partnering with us to transform lives!


Christine A. Sethi-Van Impe

DKM Foundation

Dorothy May Kelly Fund at The Victoria Foundation

Dr. Charles and Margaret
Brown Foundation

Ethan and Joan Compton
Sub Fund at The Calgary

Frank J Flaman Foundation

Gerald A. Cooper-Key

Gulu Thadani Charitable

H B Gordon Education

Jack & Doris Brown Foundation

K. C. Whalen Memorial Fund

Margaret Clementi Fund

Maunders McNeil Foundation

Olympia Charitable Foundation

Rotary Club at Calgary
Stampede Park

Ted & Enid Jansen Fund at The Calgary Foundation

The Lawrason Foundation

The P & P Murray Foundation

The Peter Gilgan Foundation

Toronto Theosophical Society

Vancouver Foundation


Annapolis Capital

Heathbridge Capital
Management Ltd.

International Joint Commission
on Allied Health Personnel in

Jervis Investments

Meadowlark Resources Corp

Port Royal Mills Ltd

Sunesis Consulting Inc.

Vancity Savings Credit Union


International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, partner for Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing is Believing program The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust*

*This project was supported by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, a time-limited charitable foundation established in 2012 to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In January 2020, the Trust successfully completed its programmes and ceased operating as a grantmaking organization having achieved a significant, sustainable reduction in avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth and created and developed a cadre of remarkable young leaders in honour of Her Majesty The Queen.


Karen Booth & Jonathan Huyer

Robert James Burns

Deborah Cullen

Marty Cutler & Marilyn Minden

Brigitte & Henning Freybe

Anthony Gray

Lucy H. Koziol, in memory of
husband Dr. Jan K. Koziol

Alexander & Marlene

Elizabeth & John MacLeod

John W. Masters & Carol J.

David & Audrey McIntosh

Margaret & Paul O’Connor

Dan Parlow

Khorshed S. Patel

Penny Pattison

Chitra Ramaswami

Doreen Richards

Linda S. Siegel

Eric & Vizma Sprott

Operation Eyesight does not sell or trade donor names or contact information. If any errors or omissions have occurred on this page, please accept our sincere apology. Every effort was made to ensure this list is complete.

Operation Eyesight is a registered charity in:

Canada: 11906 8955 RR0001

United Kingdom: 1135169

United States: 20-2682468

India: 04592/2013

* Our board of directors in Canada is led by Mr. John Masters, Chair. We also have active boards of directors in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana.