Here at Giva we value organisations, big and small, that are working to change the world around them; and we are pleased to salute them here!
The Fred Hollows Foundation is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to ending avoidable blindness, or blindness that can be treated or prevented with access to affordable, quality healthcare. The organisation was created by its namesake, the late Fred Hollows, who worked as an ophthalmologist in Australia and dedicated his life to restoring eyesight for thousands of people in Australia and worldwide. By providing eye health services and blindness prevention programmes, the Foundation has continued Hollows' mission of changing the world for the better.
Hollows created the Fred Hollows Foundation in 1992, just a year before his passing. He was not only a celebrated ophthalmologist, but also a social justice advocate working to improve the health of Indigenous Australians and people in developing nations. During his time at the Foundation, Hollows began projects in Eritrea, Nepal, Vietnam, and Indigenous Australia. Today, the Foundation continues to grow and provides its services to over 30 different countries worldwide.
According to The Fred Hollows Foundation's website, there are currently 32.4 million people in the world who are blind. However, many of these cases can be attributed to conditions such as cataracts, trachoma, or diabetic retinopathy, which can all be prevented or treated with quality, affordable healthcare. The Foundation's mission is to work with individuals, communities and governments in Indigenous Australia and developing nations in order to build their capacity to end avoidable blindness.
By working with the people actually living in communities in need, The Fred Hollows Foundation strives to not only provide people with healthcare, but also give them the resources to create long-term change and end avoidable blindness in the future. The in-country work the Foundation performs includes training local doctors and health care workers, building and upgrading facilities, developing and introducing new technology, and providing equipment.
Another important aspect of social change Fred Hollows valued is advocacy. The Foundation is committed to advocacy work as well, whether it is lobbying governments to commit financial resources to eye health care, educating the public on avoidable blindness in developing nations, or working to amend laws. By combining in-country work with advocacy, The Fred Hollows Foundation is able to further spread its message and bring the issue of eye health care to the public.
Fred Hollows was a man committed to changing the world by ending avoidable blindness. His Foundation continues his legacy today by providing resources and health care to many people in need worldwide. The Giva team is pleased to salute The Fred Hollows Foundation for its commitment to positive social change!