Four years after he was diagnosed with cancer, and knowing he didn’t have much longer to live, Fred and Gabi Hollows started The Foundation around their kitchen table with a group of friends and supporters. They promised Fred they’d keep on fighting for a world where everyone, rich or poor, can access high quality and affordable eye care. To this very day, that’s what we do.
In 1993, The Fred Hollows Foundation opened an office in New Zealand. In the early days we raised money to support Fred's intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal. Since 2002 we’ve been restoring sight in the Pacific, where four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be.
We focus on preventable and treatable diseases such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. We train local doctors, nurses and health care workers and give them the technology they need to recognise, diagnose, refer, and treat eye problems in their communities. We build new clinics and come up with innovative ways to reach people in need, like our Mobile Eye Clinic in Fiji. We undertake research to improve our understanding of avoidable blindness, and use our findings to bring about much-needed change.
Our ultimate goal is to hand over the reins to our dedicated and passionate team of eye care professionals in the Pacific. After years of training at the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji, these are the people who dedicate their lives to restoring sight in their own communities. Together they are the future of eye care in the Pacific.
We’re independent, not-for-profit, politically unaligned and secular.
With your help, we’re working just as tirelessly as Fred did to end avoidable blindness. We’re fighting injustice, building local capacity, and staying true to our values. Thank you for helping Fred’s work live on. We really couldn’t do it without you.
The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and is approved as a legal charity under the following revenue acts: Section CB 4(1) C, Income Tax Act 1994 and Section 73(1) Estate and Gift Duties Act 1968.
The Foundation was registered with the Charities Commission as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005 on 1 May 2008. Our registration number is: CC23722.
The cost of restoring sight differs from country to country due to a number of varying factors. In some countries, we can restore sight for as little as $25.
This $25 covers the cost of the vital components of cataract surgery including the intraocular lens (IOL) and other consumables such as bandages, local anaesthetic and medications. This $25 does not incorporate the costs of the clinics, equipment or medical training of the doctors and nurses.
Medical treatment in developed countries like New Zealand is more expensive because it uses different techniques with more advanced and costly equipment. Therefore it’s impossible to compare with developing countries. In the developing world, a manual and more cost-effective technique is used that doesn’t require the expensive technology but achieves the same result.
Another way of looking at it is that in some of the countries where we work, people may be living on only a few dollars a day. The $25 it costs for an operation as a percentage of their yearly income can be quite similar to the approximately $3,500 it costs in New Zealand, where the average yearly income is around $50,000.
We appreciate your request to visit our programmes in the Pacific, but unfortunately we can’t allow visitors in our clinics. This is to avoid disruption to our eye care services and to provide privacy and respect to the patients accessing eye care.