Sightsavers Sees with the Eyes of the Heart and Saves the Vision of Many
The Charity Known as Sightsavers
Rated among the most effective charities in the world, Sightsavers is an international charity formed by Sir John Wilson, who was blinded in an accident as a boy. Previously known as The Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind, this international charity renamed Sightsavers works to eliminate avoidable blindness through better health care, and it strives to promote the rights of disabled people around the world. Sightsavers does such successful and cost-efficient work that GiveWell, a United States evaluator of charities, ranks Sightsavers among the top seven effective charities in the world.
Sightsavers Ranks High as an International Charity
GiveWell has given Sightsavers a high ranking because of its successes and its active efforts against parasitic diseases in children. Furthermore, Sightsavers has been praised for its many programs that successfully reach their intended recipients. In other words, unlike some charitable programs, Sightsavers is an efficiently run organization that effectively achieves its goals. When a San Francisco-based foundation called Good Ventures that works hand-in-hand with GiveWell in determining how to spend its money effectively learned of Sightsavers, Good Ventures decided to give Sightsavers monetary support of about $2.9 million because of its high ranking by GiveWell. Chief executive of Sightsavers Caroline Harper has commented,
“We are very excited to have been rated so highly by GiveWell. Working with it will allow us to have an even greater impact for affected communities in Africa – both by scaling up existing programs and expanding our reach with new ones.”
Among the reasons for GiveWell’s having ranked Sightsavers so highly is the cost-efficiency of its programs. For instance, because parasites are responsible for eye disease in African and Asian countries, the deworming program costs as little as $1.19 per child. $14.00 pays for trachoma operations that will prevent two people from going blind, and $7.00 can go for a cataract operation for people in India. The generous gift of Good Ventures’ will go far in helping Sightsavers’ extensive eye health research in the countries of South Asia and Africa. Along with performing research, Sightsavers cooperates with governments throughout the world to solve the problems at the root of avoidable blindness, such as access to clean water and education. Always, Sightsavers works with local communities as it supports those who are in greatest need.