LIGHT FOR THE WORLD The Netherlands (previously Dark & Light Foundation) was founded in 1982 by Dutch ophthalmologist Dr Martien Cozijnsen and his wife Jenny. During a trip to Thailand, they discovered tremendous needs amongst blind children, caused not only by their physical handicap but also by stigma and rejection. Education was not available to blind children.
By now, this small family foundation has grown into a well-organized institution that helps the blind and visually impaired in developing countries. Its inspiration is still the Gospel that calls upon us to reach out to the poor and underprivileged. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD The Netherlands currently spends about 5 million euros to support about 30 projects in 9 countries in Africa and Asia. About 14 staff work at our office in Veenendaal, The Netherlands, while 2 staff members work at our office in South Sudan.
Our primary mission is to educate blind children, but our work has broadened. A lot of children become blind unnecessarily, so we also work on prevention and treatment of blindness. We have received requests to help people who are irreversibly blind, so we have added rehabilitation and low vision services. In recent years, our focus has switched to inclusive development, i.e. equipping society to guarantee the equal participation of persons with disabilities.
LIGHT FOR THE WORLD CONFEDERATION
In 2011, Dark & Light joined LIGHT FOR THE WORLD, a European confederation of NGOs committed to saving eyesight, improving quality of life and advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities in the underprivileged regions of our world. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has members in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic and The Netherlands.
Since 2012, Dark & Light Foundation has been called LIGHT FOR THE WORLD The Netherlands. As a confederation member we still have our own identity, mission, vision, board and staff.