Let's end treatable blindness in Guatemala.

Let's create a model for the Americas.

Then, let's take it to the world.

Get Seva's stories.

   Please leave this field empty

Four Drivers to Success


Vision Centers

Seva and partners have established 71 Primary Eye Care Vision Centers globally. These provide an entry point to eye care, an extension of eye hospitals with 1-3 trained staff who perform eye exams, refraction, glasses, and referral to hospitals.



Seva and partners provide formal and informal training of ophthalmologists, allied ophthalmic personnel, and administrators. Seva and partners have developed and expanded Eyexcel and supported training of 662 clinicians and administrators.



Seva focusses on eye care screenings for children in and out of school and provides surgery, glasses and treatment with a continuum of care.



Seva's focus is on patient care with prevention, detection and follow-up; information management; and distance learning. Seva has installed electronic management systems in more than 20 hospitals across India.

Watch the video above to see how patients regain not just their sight, but also their independence and their future.

Share our vision

Country focus: Guatemala

The Problem

For impoverished people in the developing world, blindness or debilitating visual impairment are effectively a life sentence. Isolation from work and community activities steals their potential contributions. A loss of sight for one can trigger an economic crisis for the family.

Today, almost 650,000 Guatemalans suffer vision loss from treatable conditions. Yet most serious visual impairment can be solved with a simple 15-minute operation for cataracts — or a pair of eyeglasses. Existing service networks are not efficient enough to meet the demand. Travel to distant cities is an insurmountable barrier to the rural poor, including indigenous persons.

Affordable treatments exist for cataracts and other causes of preventable blindness. The problem is access to treatment.

Our solution

The Global Sight Initiative (GSI) is Seva’s proven eye care delivery model comprised of collaborating international NGOs, mentor institutions and mentee hospitals. Each member plays a pivotal role in reaching our shared goal of eliminating preventable and curable blindness. One distinctive feature of the GSI is the use of trained paraprofessionals. This frees ophthalmologists to focus on surgeries and other complex procedures. The regional GSI care systems will increase access to eye care. Expanded efficiency and productivity will build capacity … and meet the need in Guatemala.

In Guatemala, Seva is poised to:

  1. Establish five new hospitals and 30 vision centers, bringing primary eye care to rural and other areas that are currently severely underserved.
  2. Train providers in high-volume methods that optimize eye care delivery, including the employment of trained paraprofessionals in assistive roles to dramatically increase the productivity of ophthalmologists.
  3. Build out the local supply chain for affordable glasses and supplies.
  4. Deploy intensive outreach/marketing. Increased awareness and trust will create the demand necessary for a sustainable high-volume system.
  5. Introduce emerging technology. An agile and adaptive data practice is a core design element that will both accelerate and demonstrate impact through access to real-time field data.

Scaling success across the Americas

After five years, the project will have built out the self-sustaining Global Sight Initiative model nationally. Scaling Seva’s GSI model in Guatemala will restore and preserve sight for Guatemalans who suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and other increasingly common conditions.

Together with our partners, Seva is poised to eliminate preventable blindness in Guatemala within ten years. The blueprint we create will equip us to scale our evidence-based Global Sight Initiative (GSI) throughout Latin America.


Seva's Partners in the Americas

Visualiza, Guatemala

Divino Niño Jesús, Peru

Fundación Visión, Paraguay

Instituto Mexicano de Oftalmología, Mexico

Kewa Pueblo Health Corp, New Mexico, USA

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, New Mexico, USA

United Indian Health Services, California, USA

In addition to these partners, we support capacity building in over 90 hospitals around the world.

Seva's Partner in Guatemala: Visualiza

Visualiza Clínica Médica Oftalmológica, known simply as Visualiza, is a leading eye hospital in Guatemala and the rural Petén region. Visualiza works to prevent and cure blindness caused by major conditions including cataract and refractive errors. Founded in 1997, the hospital has been actively refining its unique community-oriented low cost and free service system. Although Visualiza employs only 2% of the nation’s ophthalmologists, the organization performs over 20% of all cataract surgeries in Guatemala. Visualiza’s hospitals provide private care alongside free vision services for their low-income patients.

Seva has been partners with Visualiza since 2006. Seva works with Visualiza to spread their model of universal access to service. Through the Global Sight Initiative, Visualiza serves as a mentor to five mentee hospitals in Latin America. Through Focusing Philanthropy’s World Sight Day campaigns, Seva provides direct support for Vizualiza's clinical services and school screenings that help reduce avoidable blindness across Guatemala and restore sight to some of the country's most vulnerable populations, including women and children in rural communities. Seva is committed to augmenting Visualiza's service capacity with a focus on local staff development and management training. With Seva's ongoing support for skill-based training, Visualiza has become a resource to improve other eye care centers in Latin America.


Francísca: A Fresh Start

By the time Francísca celebrated her sixteenth birthday, her world had become blurry and difficult to navigate. Learn how Francísca's future looks much brighter now that she can see clearly.

Share our vision

Don't miss out on more good news.


Sign up today and get life transforming stories and event announcements.

* We won't share your email and you can unsubscribe at any time.

GuideStar Vision 2020 Charity Navigator InterAction BBB Accredited Charity The Life You Can Save

Follow Seva:

Seva Foundation Seva Foundation Seva Foundation Seva Foundation Seva Foundation

Contact Us | Search | State Disclosures | Privacy Policy | Job Opportunities | Sign In

Seva Foundation 1786 Fifth Street Berkeley, CA 94710 phone: 510-845-7382 fax: 510-845-7410
Seva Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. ©2020 Seva Foundation. All rights reserved.