Eyesight to the Blind

Helen Keller International tackles the causes and consequences of loss of sight.

Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International (hki.org) tackles the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. HKI has more than 120 programs in 21 African and Asian countries, as well as in the U.S., all based on evidence and research in vision, health, and nutrition.

Last year alone, the organization’s Helping People See initiative provided 85 million individuals with treatment to prevent diseases, including blinding trachoma and river blindness. Also in 2015, surgeons trained by HKI performed more than 10,000 cataract surgeries in the developing world. In the U.S., meanwhile, the charity’s ChildSight program provided vision screening for more than 82,400 students in high-poverty neighborhoods and delivered free eyeglasses to nearly 18,000 of them.

HKI’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production program empowers communities to produce nutritious foods in home gardens and farms, promotes positive nutrition practices, and trains local healthcare workers to treat acute malnutrition.

The charity also provides education and medical care to combat such poverty-related, often deadly diseases as trachoma, river blindness, and intestinal worms. According to the World Health Organization, these diseases infect one in six people, including 875 million children, and claim more than 500,000 lives each year.

BJT readers—who represent one of the highest-net-worth magazine audiences anywhere—clearly have the means to contribute to a better world. To help you do that, we’re spotlighting one ­deserving organization per issue. All of them have received a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which evaluates philanthropic institutions based on their finances, accountability and transparency.