Special-edition, Congolese-inspired TOMS Shoes
We're teaming up with Giving Partner Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy and grant-making organization founded by Ben Affleck, on two Congolese-inspired designs with an additional give. Read More >>
TOMS x charity: water - An Eyewer collaboration
TOMS and charity: water, an organization founded in 2006 (like TOMS!) that’s dedicated to to helping bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, join forces for the first-ever TOMS Eyewear collab! Read More >>
Giving TOMS Shoes in the DRC
Founded by Ben Affleck in 2010, ECI is an advocacy and grant-making organization that works with and for the people of DRC, the third most populous country in Africa, and one that struggled under a cycle of violence for nearly 20 years – particularly in the east. Read More >>
We first met Dr. Chundak Tenzing, director of Seva Foundation’s Sight Program, in 2011 in Nepal, where he helped us better understand visual impairment and vision-related needs as we prepared to launch TOMS Eyewear. Now, more than one year into TOMS Sight Giving, Dr. Chundak continues to be an invaluable resource in helping the One for One model thrive.
Dr. Chundak works hard every day to prepare TOMS Giving Partner Seva Foundation to provide sustainable eye care in remote rural areas in a manner that creates jobs and opportunity. He has conducted dozens of eye camps in the mountainous regions of his home country of Nepal, as well as Tibet and Cambodia. Through those camps, Seva assembles a team that brings surgery, prescription eyeglasses, and medical treatment to areas that do not yet have local eye care facilities.
When we recently caught up with Dr. Chundak between cataract surgeries at the Lumbini Eye Institute, he told us what it was like growing up visually impaired, and how receiving his first pair of prescription eyeglasses at 13 inspired him to become an ophthalmologist.
“I come from a very remote place in Nepal, [where] there was no eye care facility in my region, and today there is only one, which Seva built. When I was young, I didn’t know that I was suffering from [impaired] vision until my parents brought me to Kathmandu, where there was an eye camp being conducted. I lined up with the crowd and, after being tested, I heard from the eye doctor that I needed glasses. I didn’t know that I had poor vision, but in the classroom I was struggling.
When I first got my glasses, it was not comfortable, but things looked much clearer. I was used to a life [where] things looked out of focus. If I didn’t have glasses, I wouldn’t have been able to see far away again…with a simple pair of eyeglasses, my world came into focus. Eventually, it made me want to be a doctor to study the eye. “I [learned] that there are  million people worldwide that are visually impaired, but 80 percent can be cured or prevented…there is no reason for people to be unnecessarily blind.
…Ever since 1981 [when] I became a medical officer, I have performed cataract surgery and I am still passionate about this surgery. With basic tools, all it takes is a 10- or 15-minute surgery and a person can see again – forever. It’s that simple. I like the clarity and knowing that I can help them see again right away. That’s such a rewarding experience.”
Dr. Chundak’s vision goes far beyond the life-changing individual surgeries, treatments and glasses, to a world in which everyone who needs eye care can access and afford it.