Sightsavers is a global development organization headquartered and registered as a charity in the
United Kingdom; was founded in 1950 by Sir John Wilson, a devoted public health advocate, who was himself blind from a young age.
Sightsavers has a number of affiliate organizations including the US (Sightsavers Inc.), Italy, Ireland, Sweden, the Middle East, and India.
It is fully registered to operate as a non-governmental organization in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, where it works with local partner organizations to restore sight through specialist treatment and eye care.
Sightsavers is dedicated to combating avoidable blindness and promoting equal opportunities for people with disabilities in developing countries. The organisation believes that no one should be blind from avoidable causes, and that people whose sight can’t be saved should live with dignity and independence. They act by restoring sight through specialist treatment and eye care.
Sightsavers also supports people who are irreversibly blind to live independently by providing education, counselling and training.
Africa, Asia and the Caribbean
Blindness is a significant global health problem. Sightsavers plays a leading role in international coalitions and initiatives that seek to improve eye health.
Neglected tropical diseases:
Sightsavers has long been a leader in efforts to eliminate these diseases. Working with a network of thousands of community volunteers across Africa, it distributes over one hundred million donated treatments to prevent infection in endemic areas each year.
In some countries, being disabled doubles the chance of never enrolling in school. Sightsavers supports the principle of inclusive education, whereby children with visual impairment study alongside their sighted peers. Its education programs shows what can be achieved through inclusion in the classroom and encourages governments to ensure access to quality education for all children with disabilities.
Sightsavers’ programmes ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities and are included in society. Many governments have inadequate policies to address disability issues, so they build the capacity of organizations run by and for people with disabilities to advocate for their rights. The Organisation also support community based rehabilitation, such as providing daily living and income generation skills that enable people who are irreversibly blind to lead independent lives.