Spirit of Service

Letter from the Executive Director

Fall is here, and with it, as always, comes World Sight Day. It is a good time for organizations like Seva to recommit themselves to the goal of bringing access to vision care around the world. It is also an excellent opportunity for us to reaffirm our strategy and our commitment to serving those who need us most.

In this edition of our newsletter you will see an emphasis on expanding vision care here in our own hemisphere. For several decades Seva has supported partners south of the U.S. border, this year we are placing a more systematic focus on Latin America as a region than we have in the past.

Read Kate's note →

Eusebio's Story: "Helping a Hero"

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At 56 years of age, this dedicated husband and father has worked as a firefighter in Guatemala for more than 16 years. A few years ago, he noticed his vision started to fade. Eusebio had cataracts in each eye – a devastating problem for a firefighter. As he did not have access to proper vision care, he could not find treatment. His supervisors demoted him to lower positions because, they said, he was no longer reliable. They first transferred him to a desk job fielding phone calls. When his eyesight became too impaired for this, they made him a janitor. When his vision deteriorated further, they simply fired him.

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Visualiza – Kaiser Exchange

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Since 2006, Visualiza Clínica Médica Oftalmológica (known simply as "Visualiza") in Guatemala has been one of Seva's key partners in the Latin American region. Visualiza recently hosted a Seva learning exchange with Kaiser-Permanente.

Six ophthalmologists from the Permanente Medical Group, Northern California traveled to Guatemala City. Each doctor focused on a different specialty. Visiting doctors shadowed the local doctors, consulted on difficult cases, lectured on key developments in eye care in their speciality, and learned about the challenges and nuances that doctors in the Global South face on a day-to-day basis.

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Introducing C20/20

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Since 1978, Seva and our partners have helped 5 million men, women, and children regain their sight, and brought vision care to an additional 35 million people worldwide.

Sadly, the need for vision care continues to grow. By 2050, the overall number of visually impaired people is projected to triple, from 36 million to 115 million. To keep pace with the demand for eye care, we have launched a new campaign – C20/20. It will grow our impact in four key areas: eyecare for children, technology, new vision care centers, and training & job creation.

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Shout Out to Donors

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Here are just a few of the remarkably generous donors who are making Seva's continued growth possible:

Tina Trammell and her husband Jerry Patterson have supported Seva since 1987.

Barbara Meislin, widely known throughout the Bay Area as "The Purple Lady of Tiburon".

The Giles W. and Elise G. Mead Foundation has generously supported Seva's work with Native Nations in the U.S. since 2013.

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Caring for Children in Guatemala

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Treating visual impairment in children can be challenging, particularly in the developing world. Eye care for kids often requires general anesthetic, specialized equipment, and dedicated follow-up care. In low-income countries like Guatemala, many communities lack the resources to provide these amenities. One of Seva's core objectives is to invest in pediatric eye care infrastructure, so that children everywhere can receive the eye care they need.

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World Sight Day 2019 Puts Vision First

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Every year, on the second Thursday of October, Seva joins the rest of the international vision care community to recognize World Sight Day. This year, World Sight Day took place on October 10, 2019. We are very grateful to everybody who joined us on social media to raise awareness about treatable blindness and visual impairment.

Although World Sight Day has already come and gone, there are always things you can do to promote eye health in your day-to-day life.

Learn more →
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