Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India

by Aravind Eye Foundation
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Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Thank you from the children at Vallalar School.
Thank you from the children at Vallalar School.

Dear friends,

School is out in South India, and kids are getting a well-deserved break from their studies.  But at Aravind, we are getting ready for our busiest year yet with our Spectacles for Scholars program -- all ten of our hospitals will participate, and 500,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17 will be screened for vision problems. 

It's incredible that such a small intervention -- a pair of spectacles -- can have such a major impact on a child's development.  Free eye glasses have been shown to improve math’s scores as much as reducing class size!  Wearing eye glasses produces the same effect as six months’ more education!  And, of course, the impact is even greater among the poor, where education is the only way to a better life. 

Aravind has a lot of experience with school vision screening.  Since we started the Spectacles for Scholars program in 2004, we’ve screened more than 2 million children in 2500 schools and provided nearly 75,000 eye glasses.    

And, that’s where you come in.  Aravind doctors and nurses provide teacher training and screenings free of charge, but your donations buy eye glasses for families who can’t afford them.  Thank you for your thoughtful generosity – we couldn’t do this without you! 

Warmest regards, 

Donna Campbell, Executive Director 

P.S.  Stay tuned – by 2020, Aravind plans to screen 1 million children a year!

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Vallalar Matric Hr. Sec. School
Vallalar Matric Hr. Sec. School

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.

Warmest regards,

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.

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Raja gets her vision tested at her school.
Raja gets her vision tested at her school.

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 donnacampbell@aravind.org with your questions and ideas.  We would love to hear from you. 

With gratitude, 

Donna Campbell, Executive Director

 

"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.
Selecting new glasses the same day.
Selecting new glasses the same day.
Back to school -- Raja can read the board!
Back to school -- Raja can read the board!

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Dr. Usha with patients in Aravind's cancer clinic.
Dr. Usha with patients in Aravind's cancer clinic.

Dear friends,

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. 

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Rajameenakshmi attends Virudhunagar Hindu Nadar Primary School in Madurai, not far from the famous Meenakshi Amman temple.  She's nine years old and wants to be an engineer.  She's also a serious carrom player, which looks like a combination of checkers and table shuffleboard to the uninitiated.  

Ten-year-old Mohammed is a student at VHN, too.  He loves cricket and drawing.  When he grows up, he's going to be a district collector -- that's the chief adminstrator for district government.  A very important job! 

Both children have big plans and are working hard in school to get good grades.  But three months ago, they were having trouble with some of their schoolwork.  Why?  They couldn't see the blackboard clearly. 

That's when Aravind's Spectacles for Scholars team came to their school, and tested the students' eyesight -- about four percent of the class needed eyeglasses, including Rajameenakshmi and Mohammed.  Now they are back on track to fulfill their dreams.

Last year, Aravind screened 500,000 school children and provided 15,000 glasses to children with poor eyesight -- thanks in part to your donations.  A pair of eyeglasses costs about 450 rupees -- a little over $7 -- but no one can put a price on being able to see!   And, we're just getting started -- with your help, we are planning to screen 5 million children by 2020. 

Thank you from all of us at the Aravind Eye Foundation for your generous and thoughtful support.  Please contact us if you would like to know more about the Spectacles for Scholars programs or if you have comments or suggestions.  We always want to hear from our friends.

With gratitude,

Donna Campbell, Exectutive Director, Aravind Eye Foundation

P.S.  Please enjoy this video about Spectacles for Scholars and meet Mohammed and Rajameenakshmi! 

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Aravind Eye Foundation

Location: New York - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @AravindEyeFdtn
Project Leader:
Chitra Prasad
Project contact
Madurai, Tamil Nadu India
$82,980 raised of $250,000 goal
 
1,137 donations
$167,020 to go
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