Seva was founded in 1978 by a group of medical professionals, counterculture activists, musicians, and compassionate individuals, all dedicated to the prevention of blindness around the globe. Most notably among them are public health expert Dr. Larry Brilliant, spiritual leader Ram Dass, and humanitarian activist Wavy Gravy.



A world of healthy and self-reliant communities.



Seva is a Sanskrit word meaning service to others.


Seva's work is made possible by the generosity of donors and volunteers inspired by the spirit of service.


Seva Foundation works to prevent blindness and restore sight worldwide. Our programs build the capacity of underserved communities to provide comprehensive and high-quality eye care that is accessible by all.


Guiding Principles

Turn compassion into action:  We are professionals, volunteers, and donors drawn to this work by the spirit of service.


Value different ways of knowing:  We respect both the analytical and intuitive in all our work.


Serve the underserved:  We work with communities worldwide to achieve health equity--especially those that are vulnerable and economically marginalized including women, children, and indigenous peoples.  


Promote a comprehensive concept of health: We recognize that spiritual and cultural renewal, economic self-sufficiency, environmental wellness, and medical services are important to well-being.


Create long-term partnerships: We are responsive to the changing needs and conditions of the people and programs with whom we work. By developing close relationships with local organizations and community leaders, we build trust, mutual respect, and cultural understanding.


Expand self-reliance: We promote self-reliance and aim to reduce dependence on outside assistance.  We seek sustainable solutions that come from within individuals and communities so our partners continue delivering services long after our involvement has ended. or