is an international health organization based in Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...
, that was founded in 1978 by public health expert Dr. Larry Brilliant
Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant is an American physician, epidemiologist, technologist, author, and the former director of Google's philanthropic arm Google.org. Brilliant, a technology patent holder, has been CEO of two public companies and other venture backed start ups. From 1973 to 1976, he...
. Seva is best known for their work restoring eyesight to nearly 3 million blind people suffering from cataract blindness in places like Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and throughout Africa. The organization has reduced the cost of restoring eyesight to just $50. Seva also works on health projects in Native American communities throughout the United States.
Serving the underserved
- Seva's programs serve people who have been economically, politically, or otherwise marginalized. Their program approach is created in consideration of the cultures and circumstances of the communities being served. Projects touch diverse, culturally-rich, communities including nomads in Tibet, Maasai women in Tanzania, and indigenous Mayans in Guatemala. Seva's aim is to build a bridge of compassion between donors and the people they serve - building sustainable health programs in many of the most under-served communities around the globe.
Building healthy communities
- Seva embraces an expanded concept of health, recognizing that spiritual and cultural renewal, economic self-sufficiency, and basic civil and human rights are as important to well-being as medical care.
- Seva's programs foster self-reliance and aim to reduce dependence on outside assistance. In the communities where we work, we share skills and technology appropriate for local conditions, assist local decision-making, and help launch projects that will become financially self-sufficient. This transfer of knowledge enables communities to care for their own, now and into the future.
Working through partnerships
- Seva forms long-term partnerships with those we serve. By developing close relationships with local organizations and community leaders, Seva builds trust, mutual respect and cultural understanding. Seva honors the ability of communities to define their own solutions to the challenges they face.
There are 45 million people around the world who are blind. 80% could see again if they only had access to an eye doctor. Over the past 30 years, Seva has helped nearly 3 million people to regain their eyesight. Most preventable blindness is caused by cataract, a 15 minute surgery can restore vision. Seva has reduced the cost of cataract surgery to just $50. Programs build capacity as well as provide direct services in places like Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and throughout Africa.
Native American community health program
For over 25 years, Seva has been partnering with Native American communities on grassroots health projects. A particular focus has been on preventing an epidemic of diabetes.