NEW YORK, NY — Helen Keller was born 140 years ago this month. She passed away in 1968 a few days prior to her 88th birthday. Her story was brought to stage and screen in the play and the movie, The Miracle Worker. Blind and deaf from the age of 19 months, Helen learned how to live victoriously with those disabilities. Her legacy lives on through Helen Keller International, a global NGO.Helen Keller International not only focuses on eliminating preventable vision loss, but also on fighting the diseases of poverty and malnutrition, and teaching families how to grow more nourishing food.
Helen Keller was a co-founder of the charitable organization that now bears her name. HKI currently oversees 107 different projects in 20 different countries. Here’s why.
Fact #1–36 million people around the world are blind.
Fact #2–80 percent (28.8 million) did not have to lose their sight.
HKI utilizes several tools to accomplish their task in a variety of ways, depending on the predominant needs in the areas being served.
At the foundational level, the NGO provides vision screening for millions of children and provides prescription eyeglass for those that need them.
They train hundreds of doctors in the prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy in countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia, where diabetes has become pervasive.
They train and equip physicians to provide cataract surgery, then organize clinics and surgical services in under-served regions of Asia and Africa. In addition, they enable access to quality education for blind and otherwise disabled children across the developing nations in the 10/40 Window.
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