80% of global blindness is treatable or preventable if given proper care and attention.
The Yogalife community spends a lot of time meticulously sorting through many worthwhile charities to donate the proceeds from our Karma classes to, and the next charity we’ve selected to support is Seva Canada.
The focus of Seva is to help the estimated 36 million people around the world who are living with blindness, and the 217 million others with visual impairment – 80% of global blindness is treatable or preventable if given proper care and attention. According to Seva, half of the world’s blindness is “caused by cataracts, a reversible condition that requires a 15-minute, $50 operation”.
Helping to restore an individual’s vision is considered by the World Bank as “one of the most cost-effective health interventions” that can aid people in breaking the cycle of poverty. Restoring vision allows people to take better care of themselves, increases employability, allows individuals the opportunity to acquire an education and can help individuals contribute to their communities.
Seva has 5 main focuses:
Sight for Women
According to Seva, two-thirds of the world’s blind are women and girls, who in developing countries are far less likely to access eye care services because of multiple socioeconomic barriers that they face. Seva Canada has collaborated with KCCO, based out of Africa who has been researching the gender inequity in the treatment of blindness. Publication of said research was funded by Seva, which is helping to shift the movement of equitable eye care in developing countries.
Sight for Children
Seva looks to expand pediatric eye care services around the world, which is exceptionally challenging as treating children with visual impairments has a higher associated medical cost as more specialized equipment and general anesthetic are typically required in these cases. Seva-funded pediatric programs start in poor and remote countries, with teams helping to organize surgeries and appropriate treatments for children identified as having a visual impairment and also provide education to families on how to maintain healthy vision for the rest of their life.
Ultimately the programs that Seva supports are aiming for ongoing sustainability without having to rely on donations or foreign support. Seva looks to empower communities with the ability to provide on-going access to eye care.
Seva Canada funds a variety of strategic training initiatives to enhance knowledge in low-income settings, from the level community health volunteers to highly skilled opthamologists. The knowledge-base needs to be present for these programs to be successful, and Seva hopes to provide a means for the professionals involved in the care of those with visual impairment with appropriate training.
Seva Canada’s largest ambition is to provide universal access to vision care at the farthest corners of globe, continually moving towards breaking down barriers mentioned before, that prevent people from accessing proper care.