Awareness is key. Of anything really. Whether it be an outbreak of measles or the logistics of picking your children up after sports practice. Knowing what is going on, in your world and in the larger world around you is vitally important.
One thing we are all aware of is global poverty. In my generation, the 80s kid, We Are The World opened up my eyes to a world that looked so vastly different than the one I grew up in. And that’s a good thing. Understanding the issues that impact the global community – beyond your own region – is not only interesting at its base level, but is imperative if we are to make the world a better place. Which arguably, all of us want to do.
At GV2020, our small but dedicated staff has a very lofty goal. It’s to solve the poor vision epidemic for those living with uncorrected refractive error (URE, or blurry vision). That’s about 2 billion people with vision issues.
Luckily, we’re not the only ones. Kevin has been doing this in some capacity or another since 2005, so he’s been around the block and he knows a great deal of the leaders in this space topic – which he is one of (and as you can see in this link: https://www.wearesevenhills.com/sightgeist-2019-one-day-to-solve-a-problem-affecting-2-5-billion-people/ – he’s third from the left, about four rows up, with a beard…).
Sightgeist was geared to raise the awareness of the global epidemic of poor vision, champion new and impactful innovations to solve the problem, and connect people and organizations tackling the problem.
While there, Kevin saw familiar faces. But even with nearly 15 years of experience in this subject matter and knowing a great deal of people in the world of humanitarian vision outreach, he met new people with the same goal – getting get eyeglasses onto the faces of the most impoverished people on the planet.
Over the years, we have come across other people working toward ending the global epidemic of poor vision through pure luck. Although the network of players in this subject matter has become more connected in even just the last few years through groups like EYElliance, we are sure there are others out there that we need to learn about in order to build robust partnerships with, as well as send people to when we know they are a better fit for their mission.
Like iTech for instance. That organization first came to our attention through an email request to buy another USee Vision Kit for an outreach in western Africa. The person had seen our device being used in Togo and wanted to use it as well. We had recently had an outreach in Togo and Kevin asked how she was involved; but the storyline was not adding up. When he asked her to explain the device that had been used she explained not only a different location, but a different device.
After some chatting it became clear she had worked with iTech. They do all sorts of outreach – with a decidedly Christian slant. Simply put they are missionaries. And the tool they use, although more limited, is very clever. The glaring difference is obvious – we are not missionaries; but additionally, our product does provide a wider range of prescriptions.
And just last week, at Sightgeist, Kevin became aware of yet another tool geared toward the delivery of prescription eyeglasses to the base of the pyramid. The refractive ‘tool’ consisted of three prescriptions. People look through the three options while facing an eye chart and select the one that works best for each eye. Then they snap the two halves of the frame (with a lens already installed) together, and add the side arms to complete the pair.
It’s interesting to us to see that there are all sorts of people around the globe working on this issue. Coming up with simple ideas to deliver basic eyeglasses for uncorrected refractive error (URE) – which is what most people with eye issues suffer from.
In a perfect world, all of the individuals and organizations working on this (and other eye health issues) impacting the day to day life of those living at the base of the pyramid would be a seamless fit. Meeting at junctures that matter, helping each other get to the end state of vision correction. Finding the right product(s) and services(s) for the right location. Sharing ideas. Sharing solutions. Sharing credit. Because there is much work to do.
All of this said, we do believe we offer the simplest, most comprehensive solution to delivering basic prescription eyeglasses to the base of the pyramid. We are confident our training is thorough, our array of prescriptions meets the needs of 90+% of those in needed of corrected vision, our price point is the best, and our glasses the most acceptable to the end-user.
It is simply fantastic that more attention and awareness is being built around a global epidemic with a very real and very simple solution.
There is much work to be done. We are ready.
#dialsnapwear #USee #givesight