Seva News

“Seva has given so much help to so many thousands of people for so many years — such a wonderful example of love in action.”

Bonnie Raitt
Singer / Songwriter


"For nearly 40 years Seva has made an extraordinary contribution to the world — not only through their international programs, but here in some of the most impoverished communities in North America, on Native American reservations. Thank you Seva."

Jackson Browne
Singer / Songwriter


"Seva takes the impulse towards generosity and turns it into compassionate action that helps people in real need. I honor my friends and relations by giving to Seva in their name — the entire world benefits. I hope you'll join me."

Peter Coyote
Actor / Writer


"Compassion and caring for people in need - that's simply a moral necessity. But it's not always easy to do. Seva makes it easy. They know how to put your donations to work in ways that truly benefit people."

Joan Baez
Singer / Humanitarian Activist


"When we met the folks at Seva, we knew we were among kindred spirits, joining to bring people together in service to others. Whether preventing blindness in Nepal, assisting native peoples in Guatemala and Mexico, or helping our own Native Americans, Seva has been there to help alleviate suffering and improve people's lives. Long may they rock!"

Phil Lesh
The Grateful Dead


"Seva's efforts create hope and happiness worldwide for so many people in difficult conditions. I've always been amazed and cheered by their good works and I've been very happy to help them in their fundraising efforts."

Bruce Hornsby
Singer / Songwriter


“I admire Seva's spirit of innovation. Seva is constantly looking for new ideas that can benefit the world, especially the poor, and they aren't afraid to try something that no one has ever tried before."

Dr. Muhammad Yunus
Nobel Prize Winner / Seva Partner / Founding Chairman of Grameen Health Services


“I congratulate Seva Foundation for the magnificent work they continue to do."

Legendary Folk Singer


“Seva has done an incredible job all over the world helping people who really need it. I am proud to be one of the many who followed Wavy and his friends down this particular yellow brick road.”

David Crosby
Singer / Songwriter


“Such dedication to others — how could you not love Seva and what they accomplish? Well done!”

Graham Nash
Singer / Songwriter

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Ama's Story
ama video.jpg
Two out of three people who are blind are women and girls. Your compassion restored Ama's eyesight, and is helping to increase access to eye care for women around the globe.

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A Seva Story
This micro-documentary explains the origins of Seva and our work to prevent and cure blindness around the world.

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Let There Be Sight
Witness a Seva Eye Camp in the Himalayas of Nepal. In Let There Be Sight, Seva donor Turk Pipkin chronicles his journey with a Seva medical team to a remote surgical eye camp in Nepal's Himalayas where hundreds of people had their vision restored. Special thanks to musician and long-time Seva supporter Jackson Browne for use of his song "Doctor My Eyes."

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What Does Seva Mean...
We asked Dr. Chundak Tenzing, Seva's Sight Program Director: "What does 'Seva' Mean to you?

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Sight in Cambodia
Many Cambodia children do not have access to eye care services. Seva trains Cambodian doctors and provides infrastructure so that Cambodia can provide care to it's own citizens. Last year, over 70,000 children in Cambodia received eye examinations as a result of Seva's work. 1/2 of children who go blind in developing countries will die within the first year. By preventing and treating blindness, Seva provides opportunities for life to children around the world.

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For a Chance to See
Dhana lives in one of the most isolated, impoverished villages on the planet, Bajura, Nepal, a stunning but unforgiving landscape he has not seen for five years. Dhana Kadka is blind due to cataracts. Despite this, he walked 10km through the rocky terrain of far west Nepal by feel and memory. Kadka learned that a group of Seva-supported eye doctors were coming for a special visit. So he made the perilous journey on foot for the chance to see.

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Seva Wins Critical Impact Award

The Council on Foundations, a Washington, DC-based association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations, has chosen Seva Foundation as one of five organizations to receive a Critical Impact Award.

Seva is being honored for "revolutionizing the ability of community based eye care programs to restore eyesight for poor people affected by cataract blindness..." through our work in helping to create Aurolab, the manufacturing division of Aravind Eye Hospital, in Madurai, India.

"This is like winning a lifetime achievement award at the Oscars," says Dr. Suzanne Gilbert, Director of Seva's Center for Innovation in Eye Care. "The Council on Foundations is the most distinguished association of its kind, and their new Critical Impact Award is a very prestigious honor.  We're delighted to be among the first to receive it.”

Enhancing the Common Good
This is the inaugural year for the award, which was created to "recognize those who truly make a difference in their grantmaking while sharing with the public examples of how philanthropy seeks to enhance the common good."

In a statement announcing the winners, Steve Gunderson, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, said, "These foundations have demonstrated the commitment and vision needed to address the important issues affecting society and are helping to advance the common good, not only in our local communities but throughout the world."

Aurolab: The Ultimate in "Sustainable Solutions"
Seva was the lead partner helping Aravind Eye Hospital in launching Aurolab during the early 1990s. In addition to $250,000 of start-up funds, Seva also provided technical expertise and operational support.

Seva worked with Aurolab in pioneering new methods of manufacturing high quality, low cost intraocular lenses (IOLs), which are essential to fully restore vision after cataract surgery. Previously, IOLs had been too expensive for use in public health eye care programs in developing countries.

Today, Aurolab IOLs sell for about $5 each, compared to $100 - $150 at typical market prices. These low-cost IOLs make it possible for millions of poor people around the world to enjoy excellent vision following cataract surgery.

"Back when we were getting started," Suzanne explains, "the prevailing opinion was that IOLs were too 'high tech' and required surgical techniques that couldn't be done affordably in developing countries. But our work with Aravind helped prove that IOLs were in fact viable and effective in public health settings. That changed everything, and opened the way to create Aurolab."

Aurolab continues to thrive, carrying on its own research and development work and selling a variety of medical products in most countries of the world. Although Aurolab no longer requires funding from Seva, there continues to be a rich collaboration through Seva volunteer advisers on marketing, new technologies and other needs.

"This is really a great example of what we mean when we talk about Seva building sustainable solutions," says Suzanne. "And it's a great example of how our network of Seva supporters can make a critical impact."

What Others Say
Here are excerpts from letters nominating Seva for the Critical Impact Award:

"Seva has been a pioneer in catalyzing an entirely new business model that combines access and equity with quality and cost efficiency. Seva is a testament to the catalytic role that foundations worldwide can have on supporting innovation and tolerating a level of risk that no business or government is willing to undertake."

Pamela Hartigan, Executive Director
Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

" of the most important breakthroughs in international ophthalmology in recent decades."

Dr. Bruce Spivey, President
International Council of Ophthalmology

"The relationship between Seva and Aravind clearly goes far beyond the act of grantmaking and into the realm of true global partnership. This grant exemplifies the highest goals of poverty alleviation, improvement of public health, and development of a new paradigm for international collaboration and innovation."

Gregory Miller, Managing Director

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