Opening satellite location Baseera in AlexandriaProgramme name: Road to Light
Dates: 2017-2025
Key partner: Baseera Foundation
Visio contact: Els de Keijzer, 


Who we serve

In Egypt there were around 7 million visually impaired people in 2022, with 0.57 million totally blind and 4.7 million with residual vision. These high numbers are a result of frequent marriages between cousins that increase the risk of genetic disorders. Childhood blindness is a significant problem, with up to half of cases being preventable or treatable.

Egypt has historically defined visual impairment as total blindness - neglecting those people with residual vision. A lack of reliable data on visual impairment hinders accurate assessments and the development of inclusive policies and programmes for the people affected. 
Low graduate diploma low vision


What we do

We work with our key partner, the Baseera Foundation, to offer a range of services to blind and visually impaired people in Egypt.

Outreach convoys

To serve rural areas, Baseera organizes “outreach convoys” of professionals who stay in a village for several days and provide eye-screening and treatments for children and adults. They refer patients to hospitals, which perform operations for free or at reduced cost. While the convoys originally focused on children, they have expanded to include the screening of adults. 

Broader partnerships

Baseera has scaled up its efforts from training and advising individual schools to working with educational institutions in partnership with the Department of Education.

An example of this is Egypt’s first diploma programme for specialists in low vision and blindness, set up in 2022 in collaboration with the University of Michigan and Ain Shams University. This programme is currently held in English and has 24 students enrolled. It is being translated into Arabic.

Awareness and outreach

Baseera's work includes raising awareness about visual impairment issues within the government and among the public through events, training sessions, public outreach and social media. 

Sustainable services

Baseera is developing a model for sustainable services for people with low vision and blindness. The goal is to empower them and integrate them into society, including home, school and work environments. Key elements include:
  • Satellite services. Collaboration with the government and selected NGOs to establish satellite service locations for people with visual impairments. A branch in Alexandria opened in June 2023.
  • Training for service providers. Providing specialized training to various service providers to support people with visual impairments.
  • Professional opportunities for trainees. Assisting newly trained professionals to find suitable positions where they can support people with visual impairment.
  • Low-vision conference. Organizing a high-profile low-vision conference in Cairo in 2024 to raise awareness among the government and the public.
  • Rehabilitation camps. Empowering youngsters with visual impairments, for example through rehabilitation camps.  

Youngsters practising with white canes at the rehabilitation camp Youngsters having fun in the pool during summer camp

Where we work

We serve all parts of Egypt both from our base in Cairo and through mobile “outreach convoys” of professionals who visit villages to provide eye-screening and treatments.

How we work

Our work in Egypt is coordinated and implemented by the Baseera Foundation.

The Road to Light programme started in 2017, focusing on partially sighted and blind children up to 18 years of age. In 2020 we started rehabilitation services for partially sighted and blind adults as well. 

People with a visual impairment and their families are the primary beneficiaries of the programme. They are not passive recipients of assistance, but active participants. They play a significant role in supporting and advocating for people with visual impairments, especially children, and raising awareness about their needs.

A man with low vision has his first lesson in ironing


Our partners

Baseera Foundation, a nongovernment organization that focuses on assisting visually impaired people, plays a central role in coordinating the Road to Light programme. Founded in 2004 and based in Cairo, it provides services such as early intervention, educational integration, and training in daily life skills and the use of assistive devices. 
Rather than just offering charitable aid, Baseera follows a holistic approach encompassing prevention, medical support and full rehabilitation. It also offers training to visually impaired individuals, their families, teachers, and government officials. 

Through collaboration with other NGOs and clinics, Baseera aims to have satellite locations outside Cairo to support people with visual impairment.

Baseera collaborates with a range of partner organizations:
  • Nongovernment organizations such as Al Nour wal Amal, Helm, Nahdet Beni Suef
  • Government: the Ministries of Education, Higher Education, Social Solidarity and Health 
  • Ain Shams University
  • Hospitals (eye clinics)
  • Donors: National Bank of Egypt, Drosos. 

Our impact

  • Visio International has helped Baseera grow from a small family-oriented organization into a professional, well-structured and well-known organization-
  • Developed through our Road to Light programme, the outreach convoy model has been adopted as a national programme by the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs and Baseera, which organize convoys with funding support from the National Bank of Egypt. So far around 130,000 people are screened and treated for visual impairments. 
  • Universities have started advocating for the provision of assistive devices, and partnerships with the government are expanding.
  • The professionals trained by Ain Shams University will be able to provide vital services in the future and permit Baseera and other organizations to expand their services to new locations.

 More information