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SEVA Foundation: What & Why?


SEVA Foundation: What & Why?

On Sunday May 17th, Seva Foundation will celebrate Wavy Gravy’s 79th birthday with a very special event featuring: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Steve Kimock & Friends, The California Honeydrops and Hot Buttered Rum. Wavy Gravy will be the host.

The event will take place at the Sonoma Mountain Event Center, Sonoma County’s newest, solar powered outdoor venue, located at the base of Sonoma Mountain in Rohnert Park.

Tickets are on sale now! General admission is $50. VIP tickets are $150. For more information please visit


SEVA Foundation: Restoring eyesight to 4 million people from the poorest places in the worldAbout Seva: 

The name Seva (say-va) is Sanskrit, meaning self-less service. The compassion that drives Seva's work starts with the realization that we are all connected as one global community.

Seva Foundation is a Berkeley based organization founded in 1978 by a group of medical professionals, counterculture activists, musicians and compassionate individuals, all dedicated to the prevention of blindness. Most notably among them are public health expert Dr. Larry Brilliant, spiritual leader Ram Dass, and humanitarian activist Wavy Gravy.

In the past 37 years, Seva has restored eyesight for nearly 4 million people with programs reaching many of the poorest places in the world including: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, India, Africa and Native American communities in the U.S. Since it’s founding, Seva Foundation has been a leading innovator in the delivery of vital eye care services to the world’s most vulnerable including women, children, and indigenous peoples.

 Today, Seva’s sight restoration programs serve one million people annually providing low cost or free cataract surgery, vision exams, glasses, antibiotics to treat infection, and other much needed eye care services.

Seva Foundation is headquartered in Berkeley, California, with regional offices in Nepal, Tibet and Cambodia and partner offices in 11 countries. To learn more about Seva’s work please visit


Global Blindness & Low-Vision Facts:SEVA Foundation: Restoring eyesight to 4 million people from the poorest places in the world

  • 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide - of those, 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision.  
  • The number one cause of treatable blindness worldwide is cataract.
  • 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured.
  • 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries.

Seva's Global Impact:

  • In 37 years, Seva has helped restore eyesight to 3.8 million people who were blinded by cataract and other preventable eye conditions.
  • Seva serves over one million people with vital eye care services annually. This includes providing eye exams, free and low-cost eyeglasses, medication to cure eye infections, and other such essential eye care services.
  • Last year Seva provided eye exams for over 180,000 school children.
  • Seva’s eye care programs serve at-risk communities in over 20 countries around the world: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Tanzania, Tibet, Uganda and the United States.
  • Every five minutes, a person has their vision saved thanks to a Seva supported sight-restoring cataract surgery.
  • In regions where the need is greatest, like Cambodia and Tibet,
    Seva-supported programs account for as much as 25-50% of all eye surgeries performed.
  • Aurolab, which Seva partnered to help found, is producing 8% of all the synthetic intraocular lenses (IOLs) used by hospitals around the world. These lenses are produced and distributed at a fraction of the previous cost, a key factor in reducing the overall cost of cataract surgery.
  • With a focus on financial sustainability, Seva has helped to create eye care systems that today have grown to be some of the most celebrated hospitals and eye care institutions in the world.