seva foundation
Subas Maya Rai lives in a remote area of Nepal. A few years back she became blind from cataracts in both eyes, and from that point on lived life in a vulnerable and isolated darkness. Having to rely on her husband, she wanted to give up hope, and began waiting for death to take her.

Her husband began hearing news that a Seva-sponsored eye camp would be coming, and together, they made a four-day journey by foot to the camp. The surgery took two days, and after a few days, Subas removed her bandages and was finally able to see again.

Starting out as a gathering of friends and colleagues at the Waldenwoods Conference Center located near Ann Arbor Michigan, The Seva Foundation began as a group of people looking to be of service. The conference was comprised of health professionals and activists who were introduced to Dr. G Venkataswamy, a retired eye surgeon who dreamed of making cataract surgery ubiquitous. Seva was soon born, focused on restorative eyesight methods.

The vision of Seva comprises the promotion of a world of people who are healthy and autonomous.

The Seva Foundation is best known for eyesight restoration to more than 3.5 million people in need of vital eye care service.

They have operated in 20 countries including Bangladesh, sub-Saharan Africa, Cambodia, Nepal and Tibet, and have operated with Native Americans in the United States. They support community outreach to spread awareness of services available for proper eye care. With their Global Sight Initiative, the organization collaborates on an international level to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of its 50 partner eye-care institutions around the world. Its methods, in turn, increase the overall productivity and quality of eye-care treatments.

Yet, performing eye surgery requires trained staff/volunteers and up-to-date equipment. In response to the needs of the poor, Seva brings its vision centers to local communities and trains ophthalmologists, ophthalmic assistants and community health workers to use specialized equipment in order to exercise quality care.

The ability to bring people together in service of others is an innate quality of this organization. It stands to serve those who are underserved, and shines a beacon to those stranded in the dark.

– Ashley Riley

Sources: Seva Foundation 1, Seva Foundation 2
Photo: SFGate