Author: Charlie Cocuzza

RestoringVision Reaches Milestone of Helping 20 Million People See Clearly Worldwide

RestoringVision reaches 20 million people helped worldwide to see clearly

RestoringVision improves the lives of 20 million people worldwide to see clearly. RestoringVision has reached an impressive milestone of providing 20 million people with clear vision. The global nonprofit enhances people’s lives by providing vision screenings and glasses to people living in poverty worldwide without access to these life-changing services and tools. Its predominant program addresses presbyopia, an age-related eye condition that impacts all adults and accounts for 50% of the world’s vision problems.

“It’s incredibly meaningful to us to have brought clear vision to 20 million individuals who didn’t have equitable access to the vision care and glasses they needed,” said Executive Director Dr. Pelin Munis. “In just six years since we first announced this goal, and despite a global pandemic, we have scaled our impact from 5 million to 20 million people served through our vision and glasses delivery programs.”

Mark Sachs founded the nonprofit in his California basement in 2003 after seeing the lack of access to glasses for people living in poor communities during vision-care mission trips. “When I started RestoringVision, my goal was to help people improve their vision and improve their lives,” said Sachs. “Reaching this remarkable achievement means 20 million people can continue to support their families, their communities and live productive lives without the barrier of poor vision. It is a marker that says, ‘If this is possible, what more can be done?'”

Munis attributes the organization’s success to its unique model and its Global Access Program, which was created in 2015 to bring its vision programs to the largest global health and humanitarian organizations. “We are extremely proud to have incorporated our programs into the work of over 2,500 NGOs and government social service agencies in 144 countries to date. We now have plans to accelerate our impact to reach even more people living in poverty, including refugees and other marginalized populations.”

“We celebrate this milestone with the many visionaries who have made this moment possible, including our board members—past and present—as well as our corporate donors and partners,” said Kevin Hassey, board chair. Corporate donors include FGX International, National Vision Inc., Warby Parker, Jimmy Fairly and others who have made significant contributions as have project partners, including Americares, Management Sciences for Health Peru (MSH Peru), Eyes on Africa and many more.

RestoringVision has partnered with Americares, a leading global health organization, since 2016 providing glasses to more than 3.6 million people affected by poverty or disaster. “We are so grateful for their continuous support and are incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to achieve together to reach even more people in need,” said Americares Chief Medical Officer Dr. Julie Varughese.

National Vision Inc. has supported RestoringVision since 2007. “We are proud to work with RestoringVision and celebrate being part of their enormous milestone of positively impacting the lives of 20 million people,” said National Vision CEO Reade Fahs, also a RestoringVision board member.

Sherry Grigsby, Eyes on Africa founder, reflected on RestoringVision’s milestone, recalling people helped through the organization’s work. “I think about the woman in Uganda who was thrilled to thread the needle wearing her new glasses. I think about the elderly Masai gentleman in Tanzania who didn’t read or write but wanted to cut his fingernails safely. I think about the farmworker in Ghana who said she could finally see the difference between the coffee seedlings and the weeds,” Grigsby said. “Each one of those fortunate people has had their life opened up to unimagined productivity and joy.”

“Milestones like this are only possible through partnerships. We’re incredibly grateful for the people and organizations, past and present, who have helped us reach 20 million people around the world with clear vision,” said Munis.

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RestoringVision Appoints Jayanth Bhuvaraghan and Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters to its Board of Directors

San Francisco, CA (November 15, 2021):

Jayanth Bhuvaraghan
Jayanth Bhuvaraghan
Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters
Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters

RestoringVision, a leading global nonprofit dedicated to addressing the unmet need for eyeglasses in impoverished communities across the globe, announced the appointments of Jayanth Bhuvaraghan and Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters to its Board of Directors. Bhuvaraghan and Peters will serve along accomplished industry leaders and business influencers to guide RestoringVision into a successful future poised for high growth.

We are thrilled to welcome Jayanth and Ambassador Peters as new directors to the RestoringVision board,” said Kevin Hassey, Chair of the board. “Jayanth has extensive experience in the global optical and philanthropic sectors. Ambassador Peters has extensive experience in international development, and has held leadership roles as former U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh and former CEO of The Carter
Center. As prominent global leaders, they will play an important role in amplifying the work of RestoringVision as the organization scales to reach 10 million people a year.”

Jayanth Bhuvaraghan is a strong campaigner for greater eye health access and awareness, and is a well known global expert in the eye care sector. He is deeply committed to bringing good vision to everyone everywhere, and is credited for creating sustainable vision care access to over 400 million people in the developing countries along with his teams in Essilor. Jayanth recently retired as Essilor Luxottica’s Chief Mission Officer. He is a passionate believer in business as a force for good, and currently works as Sr. Advisor & Coach with various organizations to help them discover their purpose and drive purpose driven transformation.

“RestoringVision has been doing stellar work to bring good vision and transform the lives of millions of people around the world,” said Jayanth Bhuvaraghan. “I am very excited to join the board to support the next phase of growth and work towards eliminating poor vision from the world in a generation.”

Ambassador Mary Ann Peters is an innovative global leader with deep experience guiding large organizations in times of both stability and crisis. She spent more than 30 years as a U.S. diplomat and served as U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh. She also served as the CEO of The Carter Center, where she led a worldwide effort to resolve conflicts, strengthen democracy, and improve global health. Peters is currently Ambassador in Residence and Professor of Practice at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of The Asia Foundation, Project Hope, and the Futures Council of the Human Vaccines Project, among others. Ambassador Peters is also a sought-after speaker and published author.

“I am honored to join the board of one of the most effective organizations I know, RestoringVision,” said Ambassador Peters. “Enabling people to see well enables them to work, to read, to sew, to plant and to harvest, offering a brighter future to them and their families. What is especially exciting for me is RestoringVision’s emphasis on partnership and collaboration to empower people around the world by improving their sight.”

“Our Board of Directors play a critical role in advancing our mission to restore vision for millions of people in need,” said Pelin Munis, Executive Director. “We are thrilled to welcome and partner with Jayanth and Ambassador Peters and to channel their expertise and passion into helping our organization grow to its next levels. The demand for our program has increased substantially over the last two years and engaging the support of leaders, who today comprise our board, will enable us to achieve our ambitious goals.”

The RestoringVision Board of Directors consists of Kevin Hassey, General Manager of Eyeglass World; Erwin Cho, Senior Director of Service Strategy and Innovation at Kaiser Permanente; Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Sr. Advisor and Coach of EssilorLuxottica; Reade Fahs, CEO of National Vision, Inc.; Chris Harris, Partner of FFL Partners; Myles Lewis, CEO of General Vision Services; Pelin Munis, Executive Director of RestoringVision; and Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters. Other key individuals include Nira Jethani, Treasurer; and Mark Sachs, Founder, Chair Emeritus, and Advisor.

About RestoringVision
RestoringVision is a leading global nonprofit dedicated to addressing the unmet need for eyeglasses in impoverished communities across the globe. Each year, the organization helps millions of people living on less than $2/day gain clear vision in order to increase productivity, continue working and earning an income, learning, and performing everyday tasks. Since 2003, RestoringVision has reached over 19 million people in 136 countries with its programs. For more information, visit ###