“We share the same sunshine; we breathe the same oxygen. Why should others suffer in blindness that can be prevented? Let’s end injustice.”
– Dr. Hillary Rono, Operation Eyesight Partner Ophthalmologist
The idea of blindness is paralyzing. When your sight disappears, so does the world around you. Imagine not being able to see the chalkboard, not being able to read a book, not being able to see your child’s artwork, and missing the beauty of nature.
For people who live in developing countries, losing sight is catastrophic. For children, access to education disappears.
For adults, the ability to support their families disappears. They are often unemployed with no way to support their families or contribute to their communities. Yet, for millions of people, this impairment could be treated, or could have been prevented, with access to quality eye health care. They are needlessly suffering.
Together, we can prevent blindness and restore sight. We can transform lives.
According to the World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision, over one billion people suffer from vision impairment that could have been prevented or could be treated. Almost 90 per cent of these cases are in low- and middle-income countries, where quality eye health care is not accessible to all. Some live in remote areas, where access to health care seems impossible. For some, their families hold beliefs that people who are suffering are to blame for their blindness, and they must live with this predicament.
Vision impairment and blindness impede access to education, employment and other opportunities. Vision is a basic human right. For children who experience vision impairment in developing countries, there are serious repercussions that affect success later in life. They are significantly less likely to be enrolled in school than children without disabilities, and if they are enrolled, they are more likely to drop out. This effect is observed even more in girls than in boys, as girls are often required to stay home to care for family members and to manage household chores.
Children with vision impairment lose the opportunity for a brighter future that an education provides. Adults lose the ability to support their families and contribute to their communities. They are often marginalized by those around them.
Vision impairment is a human rights issue. The most severe consequences of blindness are felt by those already living in poverty.
Vision impairment is also a gender issue. More women and girls endure the consequences of vision impairment than men and boys. Women face more barriers to accessing eye health care. One reason for the disparity is that women live longer than men, so they are more likely to develop age-related, non-communicable eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration. But despite the fact that more women than men are affected by the condition, women are not prioritized to receive treatment.
Women and girls are also at increased risk for infectious eye diseases because of traditional gender roles. Women and girls carry the burden of staying behind to tend to household chores and caretaking responsibilities. Not only does this increase their risk of contracting trachoma themselves, but it often limits their opportunities to go to school or find employment.
How can this cycle be broken to give people a chance to thrive?
Health systems face significant challenges in meeting the current and projected eye care needs of the world’s population. You can help break the cycle by empowering people and communities to take ownership of their eye health.
Through door-to-door community outreach in remote villages combined with counselling and health education, every single child, woman and man in a community can be reached. They can be screened for vision issues, referred for diagnosis and further care, and educated about available treatment options and how they can prevent blinding conditions for themselves and their families. With your help, women and men will have more opportunities, children will be healthier and can pursue an education, and communities will become stronger and more resilient.
Compassionate donors like you made a brighter future possible for this family. Don’t let a child live another day with blindness that can be easily treated.
A mother’s hope for her children’s future is restored.
Living in a remote area of Kenya, Julia struggled to raise her family. Four of her six children, and her one-year-old granddaughter, had suffered from blindness since birth. Julia was told they couldn’t be treated. She was desperate for a solution, and their future looked bleak.
In 2019, Julia heard about a nearby eye screening camp organized by Operation Eyesight. There, the children were diagnosed with cataracts, and were referred for surgery.
Without surgery, Julia’s children and granddaughter would have continued to struggle in school, trapping them in the cycle of poverty. Surgery restored their sight and gave them another chance at a better life.
Compassionate donors like you made a brighter future possible for this family. Don’t let a child live another day with blindness that can be easily treated.
Today, you can join the global movement to change the lives of people who are affected by avoidable blindness in developing countries. To create lasting change in the countries where we work, we need to equip these communities to prevent blinding eye conditions, to have access to quality eye health care, to have knowledge of the care available to them, and to adopt the behaviour of seeking that care when they need it. This will put an end to avoidable blindness and create a culture of empowerment for generations to come. Your support makes this possible.
You can create access to eye health care for a person who has lost hope that a solution exists. Your support allows us to reach people who are typically unreachable, ensuring that every person in every household of our remote target villages is screened, counselled and referred for further care by someone who lives and works in their own community.
You can provide quality eye health care to someone who can’t afford to pay for it. Your support will ensure trained professionals are available in well-equipped facilities that are accessible to all in a specific region. Over time, the revenue generated from patients who can pay for services offsets the needs of those who can’t afford it. These facilities become self-sufficient and communities proudly look after their own citizens without the need for external aid.
You can give people access to clean water and sanitary conditions, eliminating the risk of blinding bacterial diseases. Diseases such as trachoma are spread through poor hygiene, due to a lack of education about why it’s important and a lack of access to clean water. You support the prevention of future cases of trachoma through the drilling or rehabilitation of boreholes to bring fresh water to communities who don’t have it, and by educating communities on the importance of good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health model takes an inclusive, integrated approach to eye health care. This approach allows us to not only target the medical problems that lead to avoidable blindness, but the socio-economic causes as well.
Our model is community focused. Community health workers empower people by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to care for their families. We ensure help will be there when they need it by working with our partner hospital to ensure they have the personnel, facilities and supplies available to provide quality eye health care to everyone in the surrounding communities. This model lays the foundation for resilient communities for years to come.
Our model can be scaled up to reach even more people. By helping to build capacity and improve quality of care in our partner hospitals and vision centres in India, we have made it possible for them to attract patients who can afford to pay for treatment.
In turn, these paying patients help subsidize the treatment of those who can’t afford to pay, creating a sustainable resource that will serve the community well into the future. We aim to expand this successful and sustainable model to other countries where avoidable blindness is prevalent.
While our ultimate goal is to eliminate avoidable blindness, our model changes lives in many other ways. Our model goes beyond sight and promotes overall good health and well-being. When people can see to work, they have a chance to break the cycle of poverty. We address inequalities in eye health care for women, empowering them and expanding their options. And we provide communities with clean water and sanitation to reduce the spread of disease and allow the community to thrive.
Founded in 1963 in Calgary, Canada, we have been recognized as a global leader working towards the elimination of avoidable blindness for decades. We collaborate with our hospital and government partners in low- and middle-income countries to invest in sustainable eye health treatment, prevention and community development to create a better life for people now and into the future. We currently have programs in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Ethiopia and Liberia, and we are looking to expand to other countries in the future. We adhere to the highest standard of integrity, accountability and compassion, and we live those principles in our work every day.
Although our organization has a strong presence in Canada, most of our employees are based locally in the countries where we work. This allows us to utilize local expertise to maximize your impact, and enables the communities we operate in to be empowered to take ownership of their own eye health so they are not reliant on us.
For over a decade, we have developed and implemented our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health model of eye care to reach people in remote locations. This model empowers communities by connecting them with quality eye health care and education, leading to the elimination of avoidable blindness in entire villages. With the support of our donors, this proven effective model has changed the lives of millions of people in India, and we have started to successfully implement it into other countries where we work. Our model can be scaled to countries around the world, with the potential to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide. It positions us to become an important player in implementing the recommendations of the World Health Organization’s 2019 World Report on Vision, which calls for an integrated approach.
“Now whenever people have problems with their eyes, they come to me for a solution.”
It all starts with the community health worker.
As a young woman living in a small village in Nepal, Amita was expected to stay home and look after her family. She dreamed of a future serving her community as a nurse, but her family couldn’t afford to send her to school.
The opportunity to become a community health worker in her village gave Amita the fulfillment she always wanted. Every day she changes lives in her community.
She educates people to understand that superstitions do not affect health issues, and she teaches them to look after their own eye health. When she identifies children or adults with eye health issues, she refers and sometimes accompanies them to the closest eye health clinic. She has become a respected expert in the area where she lives.
You can provide training and fulfilling opportunities for women to make a huge impact in their communities.
The ability to see is only the beginning of the impact your donation will have on someone’s life. Quality eye health care contributes to overall quality of life in many ways. The ripple effect that flows from proper eye health care leads to the decline of inequality and allows communities to thrive.
Vision impairment affects an individual at every stage of life. For children, it can impact their ability to learn and interact with their peers and their families. For adults, it can hinder their ability to gain employment, keeping them from earning an income and caring for the ones they love. For more senior adults, it can be isolating. It threatens their independence and their ability to contribute to their families.
Eliminating avoidable blindness is our primary objective. To accomplish this, our comprehensive model is designed to eliminate all forms of inequity in eye health care. It addresses gender equity, ensuring that women and girls receive quality care, and key prevention components such as community water and sanitation. By donating to Operation Eyesight you’re not just providing eye health care to some of the most underserved groups in the world — you’re also helping to build progressive, resilient communities.
When a woman is empowered to make decisions regarding her own health, she can improve the overall health of her family and contribute to the growth of her community. If a woman is given the gift of sight, she has a greater chance to pursue education and meaningful employment. Eliminating gender inequality is the right thing to do, but it also creates a better community for everyone. Empowering women is one of the strongest catalysts for driving sustainable development across all sectors. It enhances economic growth, improves education and increases positive health outcomes.
The impact you can make is astounding. Through the gift of sight, you can put an end to poverty, inequality and hopelessness. You can restore what has disappeared. You can transform lives.
Join us in eliminating the world’s largest unaddressed disability.*
The World Health Organization estimates that global demand for eye health care will triple by 2050 as a result of population growth, aging and changes in lifestyle. Please give today. Don’t let another person suffer needlessly from avoidable blindness.
The people who need us are at the heart of our model. We ensure that we reach people who are marginalized, providing them with quality eye health care and educating them to look after their families and their communities.
Our model provides vision centres to serve people who live far from hospitals, and these vision centres become financially self-sustaining in a very short time, giving people a health care resource that will serve those who need it for generations to come. This model has changed millions of lives, and it has the potential to give hope to many more.
With your help, Operation Eyesight can support the continued delivery of effective, sustainable and impactful solutions to address the global crisis. You can ensure that quality eye health care will be available to everyone – today, and well into the future.
Increase the capacity of a hospital to provide quality eye health care to more people who need it.
Bring clean water and sanitation to a community.
Establish a school screening program to ensure children with vision issues are identified and helped.
Provide eye health training to increase expertise in the communities where it’s most needed.
Establish a vision centre to serve remote communities that are far from hospitals.
Eliminate avoidable blindness in a designated district.
Aly Bandali, Former President and CEO, Operation Eyesight
Your company can partner with us for your Corporate Social Responsibility program, set up an employee giving program or donate as part of your commitment to the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals.
By donating securities directly to Operation Eyesight, you’ll avoid capital gains taxes, maximize the return on your investment and preserve your tax credits to be used against other taxable income.
You can dedicate a meaningful gift to someone important while also helping to transform the lives of children, families and communities in developing countries. Operation Eyesight will send a customizable ecard or a print card to the recipient.
Charitable Registration Number:
Canada 119068955 RR0001 | United States 20-2682468 | United Kingdom 1135169