(Pictured above: an Operation Eyesight-trained community health worker from India)
In poverty-stricken areas of developing countries, women are often expected to assume traditional gender roles, looking after the household and raising children. They are often less respected than men. They have few opportunities to pursue education and a career. Even if they dream of a more fulfilling job like Amita in Nepal (see Amita’s story on our International Women’s Day page), they are often restricted to staying at home to look after their families.
Our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program model educates mostly women as community health workers (CHWs). These CHWs are fully trained to organize screening programs, conduct door-to-door surveys and get help for those who need it. They hold educational sessions about issues like maternal and pre- and post-natal health and teach people good eye health-seeking behaviour.
It’s a unique opportunity for women to work outside the home, earning an income and the trust and respect of people in the community as experts in their field. It’s also a great example for young girls in the community to see women succeeding in a career that makes a real difference.
Since the start of this program, hundreds of women have made an impact on their communities as CHWs. It’s because of their diligent work that we have been able to declare over 1,000 villages
avoidable blindness-free… and counting!
Your support for this program has empowered women in these villages to become eye health experts and transform their communities. Thank you so much!
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and people like you are making a huge impact in the lives of women and their communities through your support. Since March 3rd, we’ve posted a story each day about a woman whose life was changed thanks to people like you. You can read those stories here.
You can empower more women by making a donation to our sight-saving programs today. Happy (early) International Women’s Day!