60 years

Celebrating 60 years of global community

Since 1963, Operation Eyesight has been transforming the lives of individuals and communities through the Gift of Sight.  

The impact we are having together is made possible by our partners and generous donors.

In 2023, we celebrate six decades of global community and we invite you to join us in making avoidable blindness a thing of the past.

Here are some of the milestones along the way:


Art Jenkyns attends a fundraising event in Calgary, where Dr. Ben Gullison and his wife Evlyn are seeking support for their mission work at Arogyavaram Eye Hospital, India. Art and others at Calgary’s First Baptist Church pledge to donate monthly. Operation Eyesight is born.  


We expand our work beyond India, helping restore eye health in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.


Operation Eyesight’s Institute of Ophthalmology opens in Manipal, India, training physicians, nurses and ophthalmic assistants in eye care.


We adopt an international development model and begin funding prevention programs – including immunization, nutrition and health clinics – to address the root causes of blindness.


We begin working with Dr. Boateng Wiafe, who helps establish a 25-bed eye unit at Zambia’s Mwami Adventist Hospital.


On Nov. 6, 1990, Dr. Bahauddin Malik performs our one millionth sight-restoring operation on a patient named Mohammad. Just five years later, in 1995, Operation Eyesight saves or restores sight to its 20 millionth patient.


Dr. Wiafe partners with Christoffel Blinden Mission, the Lions Clubs of Bavaria and the Seventh Day Adventist Church to establish Lusaka Eye Hospital, the first stand-alone tertiary hospital in Zambia.


By the turn of the millennium, we are supporting 48 hospital programs in 11 countries, from South Asia to Africa and Central and South America.


We partner with L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, renowned for its focus on quality and sustainability.  

We implement the World Health Organization-endorsed SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvements including water wells) strategy to eliminate blinding trachoma in Zambia.


We stop collecting used eyeglasses but do not lose our focus on providing eyeglasses.

(Providing people with new prescription eyeglasses is still a critical part of our work. Learn more here.)


We establish Watborg Eye Services in Ghana, providing quality eye care services for people throughout West Africa and training for hundreds of eye health care personnel from across the continent. 

From 2006 to 2010 Operation Eyesight makes substantial capital commitments, including building and renovating eye hospitals and clinics in India and Africa, drilling wells and constructing latrines in Africa and supporting training of health care personnel in its countries of operation.


We pilot our flagship Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Model, which eliminates avoidable blindness on a sustainable basis, in southern India. The model is later endorsed by Vision 2020 India, and we scale it across our other South Asian and African countries of work. 


The Operation Eyesight India Trust is formed, with its head office in Hyderabad and registered office in Kolkata 


We open the Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer at L V Prasad Eye Institute’s Kallam Anji Reddy campus in Hyderabad, India.

After 40 years of support, our funding agreement with the Government of Canada comes to an end as the government shifts its focus areas. Support from institutional funders would continue through agreements with partners such as Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing is Believing program, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, and later the United States Agency for International Development’s Child Blindness Program and others. 


We launch our Washing Away Blindness campaign to bring fresh, clean water to communities in Zambia. Thanks to our donors and a generous matching gift from a board member, we raise enough funds to develop borehole programs in 24 communities. After successfully decreasing the prevalence of trachoma in Sinazongwe, we expand our program to four more districts.


We receive a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Action award from Global Compact Network Canada for our commitment to embedding seven of the United Nations’ SDGs into our work.  

Charity Intelligence Canada recognizes Operation Eyesight as a Top 10 Impact Charity. We go on to receive this recognition for five consecutive years and are later named a Top 10 International Charity as well.


We respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening our focus on hygiene and disease prevention education in communities, and on infection prevention and control in our partner facilities.  

The Jenkyns Family rekindles the Art and Una Jenkyns Legacy Fund as a tribute to their late parents. The following year, we celebrate what would have been Art’s 100th birthday, reflecting on the difference he’s made, and will continue to make, in the world.  


With a focus on child eye health, we launch our school eye health program in Kenya and our Retinopathy of Prematurity program in India.   

We launch a unique partnership with the Government of India, establishing vision points within existing government facilities. 

The future…

Eye health can no longer be seen in isolation; it is closely linked with other issues facing the international development sector, including access to health care, access to fresh water and sanitation, and gender inequality.

Partnership has never been more important – with institutions, donors, hospitals and communities. Together, we are well-positioned to create healthy communities and make avoidable blindness a thing of the past.  

We look forward to your continued support – For All The World To See!