Public Release: 

Kilimanjaro project wins 2015 Champalimaud Vision Award

The award, the world's largest in the area of vision, worth 1 million Euros, goes to a project developed by 3 organizations active in sub-Saharan Africa: The Kilimanjaro Project


September 7, 2015 - Lisbon, Portugal - The 2015 António Champalimaud Vision Award is given to three institutions that have developed a unique collaborative project to achieve the common goal of fighting blindness and poverty in Africa. The Kilimanjaro Project brought together the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, the Seva Foundation and Seva Canada. These three institutions are active in an unusual combination of areas to fight poverty, fight blindness and create economic sustainability through microcredit and microfinance solutions. By combining their resources and know-how they have been able to make a significant impact on the ground. With a focus on equality, the project makes use of clinical, scientific, social and microcredit tools to support sustainable health and finance solutions led by African teams. These microcredit programmes open new perspectives and give new meaning to traditional activities such as crafts, putting the outcome of these activities at the service of the people and offering these forgotten communities a new way of life and sustainable development.

The Kilimanjaro Project operates in one of Africa's most dramatic settings, in an area ravaged by extreme poverty, natural disasters, disease and blindness, affecting unimaginable numbers of people.

The 2015 António Champalimaud Vision Award recognises the efforts of organisations working with limited resources but able to overcome difficulties to produce visible change. The award will contribute to this effort to change the lives of thousands of people, especially children, who still live under conditions of extreme poverty and curable blindness. This work will give vision back to many and ensure that many others who see today, may not later lose sight.


Links to winners` sites

Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology

Seva Foundation

Seva Canada

About the António Champalimaud Vision Award

The António Champalimaud Vision Award was launched in 2006 and is supported by the World Health Organisation's 'Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight' programme. The award, worth 1 million Euros, is the largest in the world in the area of Vision. In odd-numbered years, the Award recognises work developed on the ground by institutions in the prevention of and fight against blindness and vision disorders, mainly in developing countries. In even-numbered years, the Award goes to far-reaching scientific research in the area of vision. In 2007, the Vision Award went to the Aravind Eye Care System in India and in 2008 it was awarded jointly to the laboratories of King-Wai Yau and Jeremy Nathans, of Johns Hopkins University; in the 2009 edition the work of Helen Keller International was recognised, while in 2010 it went to J. Anthony Movshon (University of New York) and William T. Newsome (Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Stanford). In 2011 the prize was awarded to APOC (African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control) and in 2012 to two groups of scientists: James Fujimoto, David Huang, Carmen Puliafito, Joel Schuman and Eric Swanson, and David R. Williams. In 2013 four Nepalese organisations won: the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh (NNJS), Eastern Regional Eye Care Programme (Sagarmatha Choudhary Eye Hospital and Biratnagar Eye Hospital) and the Lumbini Eye Institute. In 2014 the prize went to seven scientists: Napoleone Ferrara, Joan W. Miller, Evangelos S. Gragoudas, Patricia A. D'Amore, Anthony P. Adamis, George L. King and Lloyd Paul Aiello. The Award Jury comprises international scientists and prominent public figures involved in the fight against the problems experienced in developing countries. Members: Alfred Sommer, Paul Sieving, Jacques Delors, Amartya Sen, Carla Shatz, Joshua Sanes, Mark Bear, Gullapalli Rao, José Cunha-Vaz, António Guterres and Susumu Tonegawa.


Maria João Soares

Vítor Cunha

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