Dear Seva Supporters,
Reaching the unreached…this is a cornerstone of Seva’s work and belief system -- that everyone has the right to sight. The best way to reach people suffering from blindness is to bring eye care to their doorstep because those who are poor, scared and unaware that they can be helped will not travel to an eye hospital for care. Seva provides access to eye care by creating permanent Community Eye Centres (CECs) in remote communities that can address 90% of all eye care problems and provide access to treatment for those who need further care.
Three years ago Seva Canada celebrated the opening of a Community Eye Centre in Bajura, 1100 kilometres from Kathmandu. With Bajura, every district in Nepal now has a CEC.
But we are not done. Even a district eye clinic is not accessible to all as it can still be up to a 3 day walk away.
Over the next few years, Seva Canada will build 100 more CECs in Nepal. We think all Nepalis should have access to eye care within a day’s walk, not three. With your help, we will build CECs from the Himalayas to the plains bordering India. From Bajura in the far west to Taplejung in the east.
Seva Canada is not stopping in Nepal. Seva’s donors recently funded the creation of Cambodia’s first Community Eye Centre in Samlout in the Province of Battambang. One of the most devastated areas under the Khmer Rouge, Samlout is remote and desperately poor but year-round eye care will ensure the power of sight is available to everyone. We hope the success of the Community Eye Centre in Samlout will convince the Cambodian government to let Seva’s donors fund more CECs throughout Cambodia.
Entrepreneurial ophthalmologists from Burundi, Malawi, Congo-Brazzaville and Benin approached Seva and asked for help in creating Community Eye Centres. Seva donors supported their vision and helped create 8 CECs in Africa to bring eye care to 4 of the world’s poorest countries.
In Nepal and Cambodia, the CECs are under the control of the government health system. In Africa, while licensed by the government, they are a private enterprise. And, they can make money while still providing affordable or free services to the poorest of the poor. In fact, they can make enough money to cover both start-up costs (equipment, supplies, building renovations) and operating costs (salaries, supplies, rent) in 2-3 years. Profitable, sustainable businesses, in Africa, providing quality, low-cost services to the poorest of the poor – wow, we were stunned and excited by the possibilities.
Permanent Community Eye Centres in Nepal, Africa and Cambodia are just the beginning. We still have so much to do and so many to build, but the potential to provide affordable eye care to all is undeniable.
We are committed to realizing our dream of reaching the unreached with the eye care they need and deserve and with your support, we know we can make this a reality.
Thank you for your faith and generosity,
Note: Community Eye Centres are the same type of facility offering the same services as a Primary Eye Care Centre of Vision Centre. These clinics are often called different names in different countries.