Helen Keller International

Photo: Ric Francis

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Helen Keller International (HKI) partners with low-income communities to prevent vision loss, malnutrition, and other diseases of poverty.

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Fast Facts

  • We recommend Helen Keller International specifically for their vitamin A supplementation (VAS) program.
  • Vitamin A deficiency impairs physical and mental growth and can lead to blindness and loss of immune system function.
  • Vitamin A supplementation has a strong evidence base strong evidence base and is relatively cost effective.
  • HKI delivers mass vitamin A supplementation programs, providing treatment for an estimated $1.10 per supplement. Treatments are needed every six months for babies and young children.

What is Helen Keller International's mission?

HKI's mission is to ensure that "every person has the opportunity — as Helen did — to reach their true potential." They partner with low-income communities to deliver health services and remove obstacles to wellbeing. HKI's core values are rigour, integrity, grit, and compassion.

What does Helen Keller International do?

  • HKI delivers programs focused on reducing malnutrition and averting blindness and poor vision.
  • We recommend them for their work distributing vitamin A supplements in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • HKI supports government-run vitamin A supplementation programs through advocacy, technical support, and funding.

Why do we recommend Helen Keller International's VAS program?

  • There is strong evidence that providing vitamin A supplements to children can cost-effectively reduce childhood mortality.
  • HKI has a strong track record of running vitamin A supplementation programs in multiple countries.
  • In January 2020, Open Philanthropy offered HKI a grant of $9.7 million to support its vitamin A programs — a huge vote of confidence.
  • GiveWell recommends HKI's vitamin A supplementation program as a top charity and estimates that it could use an additional $12.7 million over the next few years.

To learn more about Helen Keller International, we recommend reading GiveWell’s detailed review.