Sightsavers Head Office
35 Perrymount Road,
West Sussex RH16 3BW
Chippenham SN14 6NG
Sightsavers is an international charity that works in more than 30 countries around the world to eliminate avoidable blindness and support people with visual impairments to live independently. Sightsavers is headquartered in the UK and has over 400 employees. It also has branches in Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, India, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
Sightsavers works with partners in order to provide a comprehensive range of eye care services. In 2013, Sightsavers' projects provided eye health examinations for nearly 14 million people, performed 300,000 eye operations, and treated over 100 million people for neglected tropical diseases.
People are also referred for treatment to prevent blindness or restore sight. Through community volunteers in developing countries, Sightsavers distributes medication to prevent blinding diseases. The charity also trains eye care workers and surgeons and funds operations.
Of the 30 countries Sightsavers works in, 23 are in Africa. These include Mozambique, Mali, Liberia and Kenya. Sightsavers is also present in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean.
In addition to its medical work, Sightsavers works with partners in order to train specialist teaching staff and supply glasses, Braille kits and other learning tools. The charity aims to educate communities and reduce stigma around visual impairment and blindness. Through its work, people with visual impairments and other disabilities are supported to live independently, get an education and earn an income.
Sightsavers is also a campaigning organisation, working with national governments to tackle the root causes of avoidable blindness, such as lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities. The charity’s ‘Put us in the Picture’ campaign calls on the international community to make global development inclusive of the world’s 800m people with disabilities. The campaign’s vision is for all people to have equal access to employment, education, healthcare and participation in society.
Backing up Sightsavers’ work around the world is a strong research capability. Research and policy work revolves around three priorities – health, education and social inclusion. Gathering and disseminating sound research evidence helps to ensure the charity’s programmes meet the needs of the people they are designed to serve. Research evidence is also a strong tool when advocating for policy changes with governments.
Sightsavers has many partners that assist with its aim of eliminating avoidable blindness and may also provide funding. Partners include the UK government’s Department for International Development, the European Union and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Read our latest article on Third Sector: Sightsavers: Work for an award-winning charity tackling blindness worldwide