Edina and her husband smiling after surgery

Cataracts forced Edina, a small business owner in rural Tanzania, to close her restaurant. When she was just 40 years old, Edina developed cataracts, causing her to lose sight in both eyes. She was forced to close her beloved restaurant because she could no longer work. Her son had to stay home from school to care for her while her husband worked long hours to provide for the family. Edina despaired; she felt that she was a burden.

Edina, led by her husband, travelled to a nearby Seva-sponsored screening camp. There, she was diagnosed with treatable cataracts. Edina and her husband were then transported to the hospital, where she received sight-restoring surgery.

Today, thanks to our donors, Edina no longer requires constant care. Her son is back at school and Edina has reopened her restaurant.

A World Health Organization & World Bank Approved Health Intervention

As Edina’s story illustrates, blindness and poor vision can keep people trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. By restoring sight and preventing blindness, people are able to better take care of their health, contribute to their communities, and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank have stated that restoring a person’s sight is one of the most cost-effective health interventions. (Read more in WHO’s World Report on Vision.)

The Cost of Restoring Sight and Preventing Blindness

When you restore one person’s sight, you give at least two people back their lives because 75% of visually impaired people need assistance with everyday living by either a child or adult.

Did you know that:

  • $25 can provide prescription glasses for 5 people in need
  • $50 can restore a person’s sight with cataract surgery
  • $12.50/month can provide cataract surgery for 3 adults each year
  • $25/month can provide 3 children sight-restoring cataract surgery each year

Impacting Communities Who Need it the Most

Where Seva Works Around the World Map 2020

Seva Canada works in some of the poorest areas of some of the poorest places in the world.

Seva Canada creates sustainable eye care programs in developing countries to restore sight and prevent blindness for those most in need – women, children and people living in extreme poverty and isolation.

In 2018-19, our donors restored the sight of 110,807 people through life-changing surgery and 1,677,758 people benefited from accessible eye care services.

Since 1982, Seva donors have restored the sight of over 5 million people through life-changing surgeries and provided eye care services to millions more.

Seva Canada Received an A-rating from Charity Intelligence in 2019

Charity Intelligence Top 100 2019 logoIn 2019, Seva Canada was recognized as one of the top 100 charities in Canada and given a 4-star rating by Charity Intelligence because we are:
  • A leader in reporting to donors, a good sign of accountability
  • Cost-efficient with overhead spending averaging 20%, compared to an average of 26% for all charities Charity Intelligence analyzes (Seva Canada's admin rate is 10%)
  • A charity that needs support
  • Financially transparent

Jewel B. had this to say about her experience as a donor on our Facebook page:

 "I am so proud to be a donor to Seva Canada. They are very committed and I am confident that they manage money very well. I am overjoyed how they treat me as a donor. I feel valued and I feel so positive when they reach out to me. I do give money to other organizations but I don't feel as valued by them. I am also very aware of what they are doing with the money. I also have low vision, so I do know of the challenges people face. I am lucky enough to live and work in Canada. I have empathy for people in other countries that may not have the access that I have. I want to thank everyone at Seva Canada for the help and joy they bring to this world."

Visit our Charity Intelligence page to learn more about how Seva Canada uses donor dollars efficiently and effectively to have the most impact.

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Sight Stories and News

  • Eye Care Training in Nepal - Creating Sustainable Programs

    "I, (Dr. Marty Spencer, Seva Canada Board Member), just returned from a trip to Nepal for Seva Canada. I have been making these trips to many of the countries that Seva operates in since the 80’s. Like snowflakes, they’re never alike, even though I have been to Nepal about 15 times. I go to teach, but almost always learn even more." Read our blog to learn about Dr. Spencer's trip and how you are helping to create sustainable eye care programs by training locals to care for their own communities.

    Blog | March 28th, 2020
  • How Seva Canada's Program Partners Are Doing During COVID -19

    Most medical personnel working with Seva Canada are now focused on providing support to their local hospitals and clinics in any way they can. Hospital beds and equipment are being reallocated to provide medical care to those in greater need. They are practicing ‘Seva’ – selfless service.

    Blog | March 28th, 2020
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What's Coming

    Epidemiologist and Seva Co-Founder, Larry Brilliant, who warned of pandemic in 2006, says we can beat the novel coronavirus—but first, we need lots more testing...14 years ago, Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, spoke to a TED audience and described what the next pandemic would look like.

    Blog | March 20th, 2020