This photo came from Aravind's school screening team in Pondicherry. I think it says it all. In India, 40 million children need eye care. Most of their vision impairment is completely unnecessary. They just need a pair of eye glasses.
Children around the world need good eyesight to succeed in school, go to college, and get a job. To make a difference. But the impact in developing countries is greatest, where education is truly the ticket out of poverty, and access and cost limit the availability of eye glasses.
In 2015, your donation helped Aravind to screen 140,000 children provide nearly 6,000 pairs of eye glasses. Next year, we play to screen 500,000 children for vision problems, and provide 20,000 pairs of eye glasses. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of India’s children.
Donna Campbell, Executive Director
Aravind Eye Foundation
PS: A special thank you to our VMware and Dell employee donors for your trust in us and your generosity.
It's back to school time! No matter how old we are, we all remember those first days of school. They were exciting! So much was new -- new books, new pencils, new glasses -- what?! New glasses?!
Yes, new glasses! Thanks in part to your continuing support, more than 5000 children in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry received new glasses to start their school year off right. Probably the most important school supply they will ever receive.
Why? Because if you can't see, you can't learn. And, education is the way out of poverty for the children of India.
Aravind's Spectacles for Scholar's program has provided spectacles for thousands of children since it was started. Kids like Rajamennakshmi-- she wants to be an engineer! New glasses are critical to her success in school and in her chosen career.
This fall Aravind launches our biggest campaign ever for Spectacles for Scholars. We plan to screen one million children for vision problems -- we have a new process for training all teachers to recognize vision problems, so we can do it! But we will need your help. Around 4% will need new spectacles -- 40,000 pairs.
Thank you again for your generosity and your belief in us. We'd also love to hear your ideas about how to get the word out about Spectacles for Scholars. Please email me at email@example.com with your questions and ideas. We would love to hear from you.
This spring, the Aravind Eye Foundation traveled to India to visit our colleagues at the Aravind Eye Care System. It was a jam-packed two weeks – in Madurai, we met with Dr. Usha and every member of Aravind’s retinoblastoma team – experts in treatment and research for this devastating childhood eye cancer. We went to Pondicherry and heard about plans to screen 500,000 school children for vision problems. And, we met many patients who have benefited from your generosity and concern.
One day above all sticks in my mind. It started with a celebratory meeting with Dr. Usha – we had just completed a successful fundraising campaign to fully equip the genetic testing lab. We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves!
My next stop was a visit to the children’s ward within the cancer clinic. There were several kids of various ages receiving follow-up chemotherapy. And, there was a beautiful five-month-old baby girl, whose parents had brought her in that morning. The family was devastated and confused to learn that their only daughter had eye cancer. She had to be treated immediately, or she would lose her eyes and possibly her life. Worst of all, her parents had no idea how they were going to pay for it.
I left that room feeling miserable and thinking about my own healthy children at home.
Later that day, Dr Usha came rushing through the hall and grabbed my arm. She said they had convinced the parents to go through with surgery and that she was going to operate the next morning. “And, thanks to the Aravind Eye Foundation,” she said, “All her treatment will be free.”
It is really thanks to you – our donors – that the baby received the care that she needed. You are part of the Aravind team, helping rid the world of needless blindness. Thank you for your generous support!
Donna Campbell, Executive Director, Aravind Eye Foundation "Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must be the joy of doing something beautiful." From the journals of Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Care Systems.