Mazda grant goes to blindness-curing doctor

  • Dr. Andrew Bastawrous chosen by Mazda Community for company funding
  • Carmaker helping finance proliferation of a portable eye examination kit and more

Members of “Rebels with a Cause – The Mazda Community” have chosen Dr. Andrew Bastawrous and his projects from among several TED Fellows presented on the company’s interactive online platform for a Mazda grant.

Bastawrous has been working to eliminate avoidable blindness in Kenya and deliver affordable eye care. To this end, the optometrist helped develop PEEK, a portable eye examination kit for smartphones. Now he is endeavouring to make PEEK available to as many people as possible around the world. He and his wife Madeleine have also set up a bakery in Kenya to raise money to subsidise eye care for locals who cannot afford it.

“Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for us on the Mazda rebels hub. We’ve been humbled by the support we’ve received,” said Bastawrous. “The Mazda grant will make a huge difference supporting three major projects: Getting PEEK out there to the community, helping a hospital in Kenya deliver eye care immediately, and establishing a bakery, which is going to provide employment and a sustainable way of delivering eye care into the future.”

“Rebels with a Cause – The Mazda Community” was established to share convention-challenging experiences and serve as space where users can exchange ideas with the like-minded. Among other things, the platform features documentaries on selected TED Fellows, people who have been taking unconventional approaches in tackling intriguing issues.

From 1 September to 15 October 2014, registered users of the platform could vote for one of four TED Fellows. The other three were: Cesar Harada, who developed a sailing robot to clean spilled oil from the oceans; Robert Simpson, who proposes to set up a “first responders” programme to help direct disaster relief efforts using online volunteers and satellite images; and Ryan Holladay, whose location-aware music compositions change according to the listener’s location. Bastawrous received 43% of the votes. For more information, go to