By: A New Vision
Published On: May 28, 2018
Funds Raised: Rs. 6,77,629
An NGO observed a glaring gender gap in global eyecare and set out to fight for women’s right to sight.
Blind people all over the world, especially in developing countries, are taken advantage of, mistreated, neglected, abandoned and cheated. This unhappy state of affairs is made worse by the knowledge that 80% of the blindness that people suffer from in the world is curable! This means that four out of five blind people have a chance to get their sight back, but aren’t able to, either because of ignorance, or lack of resources, or both. Statistics from the World Health Organization show that two thirds of the world’s visually impaired population are female and most of them can be cured.
Women in many developing countries are not always offered the same standard of health care services as men are. The situation is even worse for underprivileged women. Disabled women from low socioeconomic backgrounds from around the world suffer from all forms of mistreatment. This is how things have stood for centuries.
After Ethiopia, Indonesia is the country most affected by blindness. Women who fall victim to blindness are often simply abandoned by their husbands. These women end up going back to their natal families, taking along their children and become financial burdens. This forces their young children to drop out of school and find poorly paid jobs.
Other women and girls who suffer from blindness and other disabilities are sexually abused, humiliated, called derogatory names and blamed for their own disabilities. Often they are considered burdens by their families and simply abandoned or neglected.
Introducing A New Vision
A New Vision is a volunteer-based organization with a mission to make quality eye care accessible to all, especially underprivileged women and girls. The outcome of ANV’s first outreach programme in December 2010 showed that 60% of Indonesian patients that receive eye care were male, despite blindness being much more prevalent among females. Their mission since then has been to topple the gender imbalance in eye health care and change the figures, for good.
The Solution: ANV’s Plan
There are multiple organizations that work to improve eye care penetration in the developing world, and it is becoming commoner by the day for many turn to crowdfunding to raise funds for such programmes. The Singapore division of UN Women chose Impact Guru as their crowdfunding partner for the fundraising contest they held in 2016- Project Inspire. ANV’s fundraiser came second, raising 6.7 lakh rupees.
The First ANV Action Drive
The core ANV team consists of highly qualified doctors and health care professionals who are passionate about educating the community. Taking into account the suffering of local blind women, and aghast at how a large number of curable blind cases go unnoticed and untreated, they came together in 2011 to form the organization.
They held their first cataract surgical outreach programme in December 2010, where they restored the eyesight of 625 people. Today, ANV has cured a whopping 16,000 cases of blindness. ANV successfully crowdfunded on Impact Guru to educate local healthcare professionals on proper eye procedures in Indonesia and to provide eye screenings and cataract surgeries to all patients that need it, regardless of whether can afford it or not.
Why Crowdfunding Worked For ANV: The Power of A Story
ANV was a prototypically passionate campaigner. It showed in their fundraiser story how deeply invested they were in their work; it was short, simple and moving. They showcased telling photographs to prove the authenticity of the work they do, and the sincerity of their intent.
Every element of the Indonesian women’s deplorable situation was vividly told in the story, with relevant statistics. Needs were made clear. Well thought-out plans for viable solutions that ANV had come up with were described and shared with the body of prospective donors.
And yet, it was a moving story, a story of women who had no vision, and of an organization fighting to bring sight to them.
Sharing The Story: How Social Media Helps
ANV was thorough in its research and they had started the campaign with a goal amount of 4.8 lakh rupees. With multiple donations pouring in from all around the world, ANV surpassed their goal by a wide margin, raising more than 6.7 lakh rupees in a month, before they closed the campaign. They acquired 418 donations from backers in Indonesia, the US and India, with 328 contributors putting in offerings.
ANV’s success was stemmed from their social media stronghold on Facebook and Twitter, and Impact Guru’s weight behind it, creating a stir around this important healthcare cause. A large network of philanthropic supporters flocked around the campaign, getting it visibility and positive promotion.
This is as close as it gets to crowdfunding efficiently by the rules of the book. ANV offered rewards to donors on our platform, sending thank you notes, photobooks and opportunities to volunteer with them at eye health camps on the ground in Indonesia.
ANV: Future Plans
A New Vision did not stop there: In November 2017, in partnership with Rotary eClub, ANV is planning to perform 1000 cataract surgeries in Nepal (after check-ups)! Impact Guru is proud of how far they have come, and happy to have been a partner in the journey that brought light into so many women’s lives.
You can go look at their fundraiser here.
If you want to start a fundraiser for your NGO program too, click here.