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Sightsavers receives $1 million donation to fund essential eye health work

April 2019

A $1 million donation from charitable fund Arcadia will enable Sightsavers to continue its work to fight avoidable blindness in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The donation will go towards a number of Sightsavers’ eye care programmes in Asia, as well as helping us to invest in programmes to improve eye health infrastructure in Africa.

Arcadia’s founders, philanthropists Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, said: “Restoring and protecting eyesight in developing countries helps tackle poverty. Practical work like cataract surgery or providing reading glasses can change lives. It can mean a child succeeds at school, or someone can earn money for their family. Sightsavers is impressive and effective. We are happy to support its work and hope others will too.”

Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper said: “We are delighted to receive such a boost to our eye health work, as this area is in real need of increased funding. 75% of sight loss can be cured or prevented, so it’s an area where donors can have a very real impact, and this grant from Arcadia will enable us to establish new initiatives in Africa. Sightsavers can only help countries to develop their health infrastructure if supporters like Lisbet and Peter partner with us, so we are hugely appreciative.”

Arcadia supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment, as well as initiatives that promote open access, and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has given more than $570 million to projects around the world.

A boy in Zanzibar wears special specs to have his eyes tested.

How the donation will help us save sight

The funding will enable us to screen and treat more people for eye conditions such as cataracts, refractive error, trachoma and river blindness.

Our eye health work
Zuhara from Tanzania stands outside her primary school
The funding will enable us to help more children like Zuhura, who was screened for blinding trachoma in Tanzania.

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