Imagine a world of darkness; a world that you can hear, touch, smell and even taste, but can’t see. That is the reality for 36 million people worldwide. 36 million people around the world are blind.

But 28.8 million of them don’t have to be because 80% of blindness is avoidable by prevention or treatment. 80%! With treatment, 28.8 million people in the world would have the ability to see.

Let that sink in for a minute. 28.8 million people live in a world of darkness, when they don’t have to… They can’t see a bird soar across the sky. They can’t see the sun set in the evening. They can’t see the smiles of their husband or wife or child. 28.8 million people can’t even see themselves.

But with the help of organizations like Seva Canada, they will be able to.

Seva Canada’s mission is to restore sight and prevent blindness in developing countries, while also collaborating with international eye care providers to eliminate all forms of inequities in eye care.

Did you know girls make up two-thirds of children living with treatable blindness? And there’s no genetic reason for that. It’s simply because families are more likely to seek help and treatment for their blind sons as opposed to their blind daughters. Because they are girls, they are deemed less worthy of eyesight. How is that sentence even possible?

A girl or woman should never feel limited because of her gender. She should have equal access to education, healthcare and opportunities. Her rights should not be infringed upon and she shouldn’t be deemed less worthy of anything, including sight, because she is a girl.

The power of her sight means so much more than good vision. Sight means access to education, employment, and a brighter, healthier future for her, her family and her community. When a girl can see, she can succeed in school and for every additional year of education, her income will rise by 10-20%. When women have an income, they spend it on good food, healthcare and education for their family, improving the lives of the next generation.

I refuse to let my 9 year old daughter ever feel like she has less of a voice or less rights than her twin brother. And that should be the same for girls everywhere.

That’s one of the reasons why I love the work that Seva Canada is doing: they are actively closing the gender gap when it comes to equality in eye care around the world. By helping girls and women regain their sight, the organization is helping them regain their freedom and opening up doors to possibilities.

Seva Canada is making a difference in our world one girl, one person, one treatment at a time. And with your help, they could do so much more.

There are many ways you get get involved with Seva Canada, including their upcoming annual Sweat for Sight event in recognition of World Sight Day on October 10th. Check out their website for more info.

*stats and images from Seva Canada