Global Vision 2020 is committed to delivering clear vision to 2.6 billion people in remote, poverty-stricken parts of the world. It is a mission, a passion, a moral imperative. Find out how your donation can help.
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WITHOUT CLEAR VISION, LIFE'S CHALLENGES BECOME BARRIERS
Without Clear Vision, Learning is Difficult, Reading is Impossible, Employment is Unattainable
2,600,000,000 PEOPLE NEED GLASSES
They live in the most remote villages you can imagine. They’re poor, and so too is their eyesight. The nearest optometrist is hundreds of miles away, perhaps across a desert or over a mountain. These men, women and children (yes, lots of them are school-age boys and girls) view eyeglasses as an unattainable luxury. But corrective eyeglasses are not a luxury. They are a necessity.
Global Vision 2020 is dedicated to bringing clear vision to those in need: people for whom a visit to an optician might require days of travel over dusty roads. And even if they could reach an eyeglass shop, they’d wouldn’t have money to make a purchase.
GV2020 is undertaking this critical mission because it is a moral imperative.
In regions lacking optometric personnel or an eye-care infrastructure, GV2020 offers new, tested, proven methods of delivering basic (refractive) vision correction.
Central to GV2020’s solution is the implementation of “self-refracting” glasses. Pioneered by Professor Josh Silver of Oxford University, these user-adjustable devices allow individuals to dial-in the necessary correction for each eye. (Distribution of used eyeglasses, a traditional approach to addressing this problem, seldom provides recipients with clear vision in both eyes.)
To deliver “self-refracting” glasses to underserved populations, GV2020 partners with worldwide networks of aid organizations. Locals are then trained in the use of the glasses. They, in turn, become distributors who train others.
Any qualifying non-profit, NGO, or government organization can be trained as a distributer in order to leverage the networks they have already established.
This, of course, is not the same as the rigorous schooling required to become an optometrist. Rather, it is a short and easy path which can lead virtually anyone to the skills required to help others in the community see clearly.
For hundreds of years, eyeglasses have helped to improve the world’s quality of life. Now is the time for everyone to have that opportunity.
Eyeopener # 9
Need for refractive correction in South Africa
- Adults Over 40 80%
- Children 10%
Eyeopener # 84
In most developed nations, there is one optician for every 8,000 people. In the developing world, that ratio changes dramatically for the worse. Often, there is only one optician for every million people. In Mali, for example, there is only one optician for every 8 million people. That’s the equivalent of having only one optician for all of New York City.
Eyeopener # 7
South African children needing eyeglasses
- Needing Significant Refractive Correction 19%
- Unable to get needed glasses 81%
Could you survive 24-hours without prescription glasses? Would you be able to read, recognize faces, drive, work, avoid tripping over the curb? Give it a try. Then, please consider the following.
More than 2.6 billion people in remote areas of the world are in need of corrective eyeglasses. That is a tragically huge statistic.
Without clear vision, these people are unable to go to school or work. They can’t live full lives. They become dependent upon their families and burdens to their communities. It is a staggering problem.
How could something as simple and accessible as a pair of eyeglasses be absent from the lives of so many men and women, and (especially) their children?
The answer is haunting: There are not enough optometrists to serve the world’s remote villages. In most of Africa, for example, there is only one optometrist for every million people. In some regions, the ratio plummets to one optometrist for every 8 million people. Imagine New York City, or Paris or London having only one eye-care professional.
WITHOUT CLEAR VISION,
TO EVERYONE ELSE
Stories of people
in distant lands,
their poor vision
Global Vision 2020 has enabled thousands to see clearly. Here are two case histories.
Please read them, then pause to consider the billions of other people in distant villages,
all of whom could see their lives transformed for the better by corrective eyeglasses.
Arthur Walker is a carpenter. He came to the Global Vision 2020 distribution session at the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute. His vision had deteriorated over the past few years, and was making routine chores more difficult. He was a 57 year-old father of nine. When his wife passed away a few years earlier, he became sole head of household. Two of his sons assisted Arthur at his job. When one of them died of a heart attack, the demands placed upon Arthur only intensified.
Having difficulty seeing his work, Arthur was unable to work at his usual pace. Less work meant less income. In addition, he was having trouble finding his way from place to place. Familiar surroundings became a challenge to navigate.
Volunteers in Kakata diagnosed Arthur as having long-sightedness (hyperopia). They also determined that he needed reading glasses (presbyopia) for close work. It is common for both conditions to get worse with age.
Wearing user-adjustable glasses, Arthur fitted himself with 1) glasses for reading and close work, and 2) a pair of +1.5D glasses adjusted for distance vision. When Arthur went to the vision chart, instead of barely seeing line 2, he easily saw line 8 – almost 20/20 vision! The glasses that Arthur received through Global Vision 2020 enable him to work and support his family. Arthur is overjoyed.
Emmanuel Harris was 65 when he came to the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute to find out if his distance-vision could be improved. He had never had trouble seeing up-close, not even the smallest text in his Bible. But as the years advanced, it became increasingly difficult to see things that were far away.
Making matters worse, Emmanuel lost vision in his right eye during an accident more than 40 years prior. The GV2020 volunteer checking his vision found that his left eye had severe short-sightedness (myopia). This was the cause of his blurred distance-vision.
Slowly turning the dial on his pair of user-adjustable glasses, Emmanuel began to see more clearly. His face lit up. With every turn of the dial, clarity improved. When he reached the the optimal corrective setting for his eye, the glasses were set and sealed. Emmanuel’s new distance glasses have rejuvenated his eyesight and improved the quality of his life.
Before leaving the Institute, Emmanuel paused, turned to the GV2020 volunteer and said, “You have made me feel years younger. Thank you so very much.”
“Sustainability is the key to this initiative’s success. And the reason for this is simple: it’s not enough to bring a solution to impoverished people in a faraway country, and then just leave. If you do that, as others have, you really haven’t remedied anything. Your applying a patch.
At GV2020 our mission is to bring user-adjustable glasses to people who have no other way of fixing their vision problems. They’re poor, and they have zero access to an optometrist. And once we take care of that initial need, we then take the next big step. We help them establish their own eyeglass distributorships. That way, they’ll be able to continue caring for their vision problems in the future.
By the way, if developing an entrepreneurial spirit and self-sufficiency is a side-effect of gaining clearer vision—that’s actually pretty great. And that’s why sustainability is so important.”
J. Kevin White / Founder, Executive Director / Global Vision 2020