Seva Canada’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on November 6, 2020. Regular attendees will recall past AGMs as lively affairs with Board Members, staff, special guests, and long-time supporters gathering to celebrate our work. This year’s AGM was much the same, though we used Zoom to join folks in their homes and offices, rather than welcoming them to a venue in Vancouver. One wonderful upside was the opportunity to connect with supporters from across the country and around the world who would not have been able to attend an in-person AGM. Significant thanks are due to Dr. Vivian Yin, incoming Chair of the Board, for her work behind the scenes ensuring that the Zoom AGM went as smoothly as possible.

Business conducted at the AGM included the introduction of two new staff members, Paul Crosby (Director of Development) and Heather Wong-Mitchell (Operations Manager), approval of minutes from last year’s AGM, and the presentation of the Auditor’s Report by our long-time external audit team, Angela Sartori and Norm Grdina of RHN Chartered Professional Accountants. The audited financial statements are available on our website  ( We welcomed Katie Judson and Jill Guthrie to the Board of Directors while bidding fond farewells to Chuck Diamond, Karen Chalmers, and Phairis Sajan. Our deepest thanks to Chuck, Karen, and Phairis for their years of service to Seva Canada.

2020 Annual General Meeting Zoom Screenshot

Top row from L to R: Penny Lyons, Dr. Simon Arunga, and Heather Wong-Mitchell. Bottom row from L to R: Peter Kileo, Dr. Ken Bassett, and Laura Spencer

Seva Canada Executive Director, Penny Lyons, presented her report on the previous year’s activities. Her presentation, which focused on Seva Canada’s ongoing commitment to people-centred eye care, can be read here:

We were thrilled to welcome Peter Kileo (Program Coordinator and Assistant Director, Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Tanzania) and Dr. Simon Arunga (Ophthalmologist, Mbarara Regional Referral Eye Centre, Uganda) as special guests. Peter spoke about the role women’s microfinance groups play in the development of eye care networks, and Dr. Arunga discussed the importance of developing locally-driven eye health initiatives that are designed to be self-sustaining rather than relying on international aid or government support.

The meeting closed with the presentation of our World Sight Day 2020 video “Hope in Sight,” which features Seva Canada staff, board members and program partners.

Hope in Sight 2020 World Sight Day Video Image

Our deepest thanks go out to those who were able to join us for the AGM. 

Missed the AGM? Watch a pre-recorded version of Peter’s presentation at 

Sight Stories and News

  • Supporting Women Leaders in Eye Care Research

    Less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women and, in low-income countries, the percentage is far less. Seva Canada has actively engaged, recruited and mentored women in research because a gendered approach to research increases the range of interventions and breakthroughs that come from looking at problems from different perspectives.

    Blog | September 20th, 2021
  • Development with Dignity

    "Dignity is a word that overturns traditional assumptions about north and south, developed and developing. While charity is bestowed by the haves to the have-nots, dignity does not work like that at all. If I fail to treat someone with dignity, it is me, not them, who is undignified." -Jonathan Glennie

    Blog | September 10th, 2021
  • Rupinder Singh Parhar: Helping Power Brighter Futures With the Gift of Sight

    "As I am legally blind and live in a high-income country, I have been afforded luxuries that would not have necessarily been provided in other regions of the world...I believe that it is my duty to do what I can to give back. I strongly believe that we should not be limited by the birth lottery for social, geographical, and gender statuses, but rather be supported and raised by humanity to be the best versions of ourselves. I am very fortunate for the opportunities bestowed on me and I'm happy to support Seva to make a positive impact in the world!" - Rupinder Singh Parhar, Seva Canada donor

    Blog | August 30th, 2021