Kalanki, Kathmandu Nepal
Tamasho ma jyotirgamaya: Our goal is clear and we know how to achieve this.
In 2009, while working in a village about 50 kilometers from Hetauda, the district headquarter of Makwanpur district, we encountered hundreds of school children who could not see what was written on their classroom chalkboard, couldn’t navigate around in evening time and were performing poorly in their academics. The cause was refractive error and the solution was simple: a pair of spectacles. Similarly there were hundreds with cataract waiting for surgery and others with eye diseases needing simple eye medications. However, nothing was in their reach, the hospital, the travel cost, the cost for spectacles, surgery or medicine. We did what we could at that time and provided some services to those in the most need and that certainly made some impact in that village. Sadly, the situation still persists in several other similar villages and remote locations in Nepal. And we are determined to change that for good.
By 2017, we had a great deal of real life experience of working in the eye care, public health and general health services not only in Nepal, but also in some of the most remote and some of the most developed parts of the world. We now had better understanding of how the eye care services worked and what needed to be done to address the challenges in providing universal eye care to the people of remote Nepal. We discussed and agreed on the need to channel our efforts in the form of a non-governmental organization to achieve our goals of providing quality and accessible eye care to all. And this is how Better Vision Foundation Nepal was born.
BVFN aims to provide services, conduct impactful research and create awareness and strengthen advocacy to improve eye care services in Nepal. We are aware of the presence of several organizations working in eye care sector in Nepal and we acknowledge their relentless efforts. However, we have also cognizant of the fact that the eye care services in Nepal have still not reached a large population living in remote areas and those belonging to marginalized and poor communities. The existing programs are also narrowly focused mainly in cataract, shadowing other important issues in eye care such as refractive error, childhood vision and preventive care. BVFN aims at developing and successfully implementing programs in those neglected population groups and service areas.
To provide services in hard-to-reach areas and in neglected service areas requires a lot of resources, mainly financial and human resources. We, at BVFN are voluntarily providing our expert services and wherever possible finance the programs ourselves. However, this is not possible and sustainable and we need to look for external supports. We request local, national and international organizations to work with us, support us and guide us in our efforts to improve the eye health services in Nepal. We assure all our supporters of transparency, accountability and right use of the available resources.
I thank our supporters, partners, well-wishers and all those who have been with us from the very beginning of this organization. I would also like to welcome anyone who wishes to collaborate with us in our humanitarian efforts to join our network. We are confident that Better Vision Foundation Nepal will bring very tangible changes in lives of people of Nepal by improving eye care services for them.
Tamasho ma jyotirgamaya (Let there be light).
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