Dorothy, a young girl from rural Malawi couldn’t remember a time when she could see clearly. Her vision got worse as she got older until she went blind.

Dorothy constantly bumped into things and regularly injured herself. She did poorly at school because she couldn’t see the blackboard.

Her parents, struggling to support their 7 children by farming a small plot of land, worried about her future. How would Dorothy be safe from predators or from injuring herself? How would she be able to work and have her own family? What would her future look like?

Boys and girls go blind at the same rate but in low-income countries girls are only half as likely as boys to receive care. That’s why 2 out of 3 of the world’s children suffering with treatable blindness are girls. Without proper care and locally available eye care services, girls like Dorothy often don’t finish school, will continue to live in poverty and face life-long challenges. Together, we must do everything possible to provide girls with equal access to eye care for the social and economic development of entire communities. For every additional year a girl stays in school her income will rise by 10–20%, improving her, her family and her community’s future.” — Penny Lyons, Executive Director of Seva Canada (

Dorothy was found by an eye health worker going door to door in her village. Dorothy and her mother were transported to the Seva-supported hospital where a doctor told them that Dorothy had developed cataract and that he could restore her vision with surgery, free of charge.   

“Now that she can see, she can learn, she can work, she has a future!” —  Dorothy’s mother.

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