SOURCE: Helen Keller International

December 01, 2015 02:20 ET

Helen Keller International 100th Anniversary Year Highlighted by Program Achievements Reaching Millions in the United States, Africa and Asia

The Best and Most Beautiful Things in the World Cannot Be Seen or Even Touched; They Must Be Felt With the Heart -- Helen Keller

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - December 01, 2015) - Helen Keller International (HKI), one of the oldest global nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting the causes and consequences of preventable blindness and malnutrition, celebrates the close of its Centennial Anniversary with several programmatic achievements.

This milestone year has been highlighted by continued progress in reaching people in need in some of the world's most vulnerable communities:

  • During the 2014-2015 school year HKI's ChildSight® program provided vision screenings for more than 64,000 American children living in poverty and gave 15,000 of them the new prescription eye glasses they urgently needed.
  • In the weeks following the devastating Nepal earthquakes, HKI helped support and save the lives of more than 15,000 pregnant women and newborns with emergency nutrition and health services in some of the hardest hit regions.
  • This year HKI has trained scores of new doctors in Cameroon, Niger and other high-needs countries in Africa in trachoma surgery to improve access to these vital treatments for thousands suffering from this painful and blinding condition.
  • HKI was awarded the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation for its work in improving nutrition with agricultural programs that help families and villages raise their own nutritious foods.

Founded in 1915 by its namesake Helen Keller, HKI has continued steadfastly in its dedication to fighting the causes and consequences of preventable blindness, while also becoming a leader in effective measures to reduce malnutrition and eliminate diseases of poverty in the world's most vulnerable communities. Each year, HKI reaches more than 300 million people in need in the United States, Africa and Asia with programs that help families and communities build brighter futures for themselves.

"As the overworked Chinese proverb goes, 'Give a woman a fish, and she will eat for a day; teach her to fish, and she will eat for a lifetime.' But we are also teaching them how to cook the fish, how to store it and process it so that it will keep, even sell it to build a better life for the future," explains HKI President and CEO, Kathy Spahn. "It is this, our comprehensive approach, based on evidence, which makes what we do so impactful. Our work isn't transactional; it's transformational. A donation to HKI is an investment in long term change."

Looking ahead, HKI will close its Centennial year with a holiday gift match. All donations received December 1-31, 2015, will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $200,000, made possible through the generosity of three if HKI's generous Trustees. Visit for more information.

This year Helen Keller International has once again been recognized for its effectiveness and efficiency with a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator, placing HKI in the top 2% of all U.S. charities for its financial health, accountability and transparency.

Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International's mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. HKI combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health, and nutrition. Visit for more information.

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information

  • Contact information
    Heather Mangrum
    Director, Communications