What We Do
A world where no one is deprived of the opportunity to live a healthy life – and reach their true potential.
Helen Keller Intl continues the legacy of our co-founder, Helen Keller, who fiercely advocated for people who would have been otherwise left behind.
Today, Helen Keller Intl helps children and families in 20 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States grow and eat nutritious food, stave off malnutrition, build strong immune systems, access life-saving medical treatments, and prevent and treat blindness and vision loss.
By providing the right support at the right time, we help millions of families and communities overcome longstanding cycles of poverty, helping them create lasting change in their own lives.
The Helen Keller method
Inequities and dysfunctions in food and health systems rob more than one billion people around the world of their health and the opportunity to see, thrive, and discover their true potential. Improving those systems are the only way to improve lives on a large scale and for the long term.
Working within not against systems
Food systems. We help communities shape the entire food chain, including growing nutritious foods through home gardens and raising chickens, processing foods so that they have longer shelf lives and improving marketing so families can earn more from the food they sell and improve their livelihoods.
Health systems. We help shape elements of health systems that often overlook the wellbeing of the most vulnerable, lowest income communities. By focusing on effective, evidence-based services, we can make dramatic differences in people’s health. This includes distributing life-saving and preventive drugs and nutrients, integrating vitamin A into routine visits to the health clinic, to going door-to-door to provide education, diagnosis, and treatment.
Leveraging our own expertise
On-the-ground experience. We have deep roots in the countries we work, with most staff being from regions and communities in which we work. Our work is reinforced by their shared experience, motivation to serve their neighbors, and desire to ensure that every child has the chance to discover their true potential.
Science and evidence shape our work. Helen Keller’s solutions are based on an effective combination of research, evidence, technical expertise, and on-the-ground experience. Our staff collaborates on dozens of research projects each year with trusted academic institutions and educates the next generation of public health practitioners and scientists.
We never work alone. Partnering with donors, government health officials, ministries of health, and local community leaders, Helen Keller convenes a community of people at different levels of society and with different strengths to work together, giving us the best chance at building long-term resilience and systemic change.
Women are at the center of our work. Evidence has shown that when women earn a living, they spend this income to support the health and wellbeing of the family. And when a family is suffering from not enough, women also tend to be the last to eat and the last to seek medical care. Thus, Helen Keller’s method starts with women.
Our solutions are evidence-based and cost effective.
- Free-of-charge vision screenings and prescription eyeglasses for low-income students so they can learn, make friends and develop their mind.
- Prevention and treatment for blindness, vision loss, and debilitating diseases.
- Timely diagnosis and treatment for malnutrition to save lives and secure healthier futures.
- Vital nutrients like vitamin A to build immunity and forestall vision loss.
- Healthcare and nutrition counseling to ensure mothers can keep their infants and themselves strong.
- Farming tools and supplies for women to foster healthier families and build livelihoods.