Stories

Learn more about Helen Keller International through the people we serve, our team members and supporters and stories of lives changed through the work that we do. 

Nipa Chakma, a day laborer, was living in poverty. Sometimes she secured seasonal work in the paddy field or collecting firewood, but such inconsistent work made everything uncertain.

Then Nipa changed everything—with help from an HKI project called Making Markets Work for Women (M2W2)....

Imagine knowing you needed glasses, but not being able to get them.

“My parents couldn’t afford to take me to an eye doctor,” says Jasmine.

She is a 15-year-old student in Montebello, California, who hasn’t been able to see clearly since kindergarten. The last pair of glasses...

Chinate Pedro Phini is a farmer in the Capimbi village of Mozambique. He was trained by HKI to produce orange sweet potatoes because he is respected in his community for his knowledge.

“Families in this area typically don’t eat many vegetables,” he says....

At first glance, Satria is a regular eight-year-old boy. His favorite television show is “Thomas and Friends.”

But Satria has been bullied since first grade because his classmates considered his behavior unnatural. He was diagnosed with hyperactivity, learning difficulties and a language...

If your ancestors came through Ellis Island, they were likely screened for trachoma, which was considered a “loathsome and dangerous” disease. It was also an ancient one, with evidence of infection of the eye from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis as early as 8000 B.C.

This...

Over several years, thanks largely to collaborative efforts between HKI and government health workers, the West African nation of Sierra Leone made significant strides toward eliminating or controlling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Then in 2014 disaster struck with the Ebola outbreak....

At 86, Hoang Dac Thang remains energetic and fully engaged. He’s chairman of the management board of the Elderly Association in his commune in the Quoc Oai District of Hanoi, Vietnam. Many members of the association had lived their entire lives without seeing an eye doctor, Mr. Hoang said. So...

HKI has become a global leader in the rapidly growing field of mHealth—the use of mobile and wireless technologies to provide and support health services—thanks in large part to the skills, innovation and commitment of Mohamed Turay.

Born and raised in Sierra Leone, Turay joined HKI in...

“The world has been so blurry.”

Ashley sits in the front of the classroom and still can’t see. She has never been to the eye doctor before.

“It’s been frustrating not to see,” she says.

Lucky for Ashley, ChildSight® is visiting her school in Orange County, California, today...

With familial roots in farming, it is perhaps not surprising that El Hadji Issakha Diop became a nutritionist.

“As my father raised sheep and cattle, my mother raised vegetables. I was lucky,” he says, telling me about fruits he used to pick.

“I think this has been a great...