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About us

Helen Keller, our co-founder, envisioned a world without barriers to human potential. Guided by her fierce optimism, we have been working on the front lines of health and well-being for more than 100 years. We deliver life-changing health care to vulnerable families in places where the need is great, but access is limited. Our proven, science-based programs empower people to create opportunities in their own lives.

Since we were founded in 1915, our work has evolved from providing assistance to soldiers blinded during their service in World War I. Today, our programs prioritize preventing and treating vision loss and blindness—as well as addressing major global health problems such as malnutrition and neglected diseases that threaten sight, productivity, and well-being.

We currently have more than 120 programs in 20 countries around the world.

In the U.S., Africa, and Asia, Helen Keller International’s proven, science-based programs empower people to create opportunities in their own lives and build lasting change. We build the capacity of local government, non-profit and private sector systems and infrastructure, and promote the development of sustained, large scale programs that deliver effective solutions to preventable vision loss and malnutrition.

Guided by Helen’s vision and optimism, we believe it is possible to eliminate preventable vision loss, malnutrition, and neglected tropical diseases and improve the well-being of millions of children and vulnerable families.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.

Helen Keller
Helen Keller holding a book

Helen Keller’s Life and Legacy

Helen Keller was one of the world’s most heroic trailblazers for vulnerable people, and one of its most indelible examples of the power of the human spirit to overcome hardship.

She triggered a watershed change for education, social justice, and health care for underrepresented groups of people and literally redefined our understanding of human potential.

Our Mission and Vision

Helen Keller International is a global health organization dedicated to eliminating preventable vision loss, malnutrition, and diseases of poverty.

Our History

Helen Keller International was co-founded in 1915 by two extraordinary individuals, Helen Keller and George Kessler, to assist soldiers blinded during their service in World War I