Effective Altruism is a modern-day philosophy or approach on living, looking at how we can use our own individual resources to help others in need, in the most effective way to allow for the biggest impact.

It is one thing to wish to make a difference, or to help in some way, but how do we go about making a positive difference? We see inequality, injustice and suffering around the world, and we find ourselves asking, ‘What can I do to help?’. It is difficult to know when donating money to a just cause, whether it will end up making any difference at all, or if in fact, your small donation has made a really positive impact to someone’s life; this is where Effective Altruism, and organisations associated with this philosophy can help.

Give Well, Effective Altruism and 80,000 Hours to name a few, are dedicated to producing research and information, for free, for everyone on where to give and how to give effectively. Give Well’s mission is to ‘search for charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar’.  With all the best intentions, it is important when donating to a charity that you understand how your donation – no matter how big or small – is used, and how much of an impact that will have on the people who need it the most.

At Vision Aid Overseas, we are working hard to ensure that everyone, regardless of their gender, economic status and geographical location, has access to affordable eye care services and glasses.

Our priority areas are primary eye care, child eye health, vision centres, training and education and community outreach. We are currently delivering, and have delivered, projects in four target countries: Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.

In the next blog post, we are going look into our Kafue District School Based Eye Health Pilot, to find out more about children’s eye health and the effectiveness of the pilot.

Guest author: Sharmini M