SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 31, 2024) – RestoringVision is thrilled to begin partnering with the Livelihood Impact Fund to advance the organizations’ mutual goal of solving the global presbyopia crisis, in which 826 million people worldwide lack the ability to access and afford the reading glasses they need to see clearly. The Livelihood Impact Fund’s commitment to RestoringVision through a grant awarded in Q4 of 2023 will advance four RestoringVision initiatives over 12 months that aim to accelerate increased access to reading glasses for people living in poverty worldwide.
“The Livelihood Impact Fund’s Eyeglasses Initiative and partnership is transformative for RestoringVision as it opens pathways to scale our work through the replication of multiple, innovative programs along with opportunities to learn more about ways to expand our reach as a global health and eye health sector,” said Pelin Munis, Ph.D., CEO, RestoringVision. “RestoringVision is committed to solving the global vision crisis, in which over 800 million people worldwide only need reading glasses to correct their sight and restore their productivity, wages, and more. This generous funding from LIF and their partnership allows RestoringVision to see the path to achieving our vision – a world where everyone who needs glasses has them.”
The Livelihood Impact Fund seeks to meaningfully and durably improve the lives of the global poor. The Eyeglasses Initiative, operating under the umbrella of the Livelihood Impact Fund, is a targeted intervention focused on enabling easy access to reading glasses for 800 million adults in need. It aims at researching core questions around the benefits of reading glasses, running pilots and experimentation, and inspiring doers and funders to come together to solve the issue at scale.
“We’re committed to our partnership with RestoringVision and excited about their efficient screening, cost-effective interventions, effective deployment of reading glasses, and their focus on addressing presbyopia to improve livelihoods at scale,” said Abi Steinberg, Executive Director, Eyeglasses Initiative at LIF.
The four initiatives supported by the LIF grant aim to address critical vision care needs in underserved communities across Africa, Peru, and beyond, including:
Piloting and Expanding the Faith-Based Health Systems Model in Africa: Faith-based health systems deliver 30% to 50% of total health care in many of the continent’s countries. Focusing on the people who are hardest to reach, these national faith-based health systems have dozens to hundreds of member organizations in each country. Through this groundbreaking initiative, with support from LIF, RestoringVision is partnering with the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) and three national faith-based health systems – the Christian Health Association of Kenya, the Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone, and the Churches Health Association of Zambia – to integrate vision screening and provision of reading glasses into the existing work of faith-based hospitals, clinics, community outreach organizations, and community health workers. Through this innovative integration of presbyopia solutions into these faith-based health systems, RestoringVision, ACHAP, and their national partners will reach hundreds of thousands of people in need over the next year, and millions in future years.
Scaling and Preparing to Replicate the Innovative Government Pension Program Model in Peru: LIF’s support will support RestoringVision in expanding and replicating a pioneering model for addressing presbyopia in Peru. This program has been developed and implemented in partnership with Management Sciences for Health Peru and the national social safety net pensions program, Pension 65, in Peru’s Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion. This public health innovation provides vision screenings and reading glasses to hundreds of thousands of Peruvians aged 65 and older who live in impoverished and vulnerable conditions. The grant will facilitate planning for the sustainability and replication of this model in additional countries, enabling RestoringVision to broaden its reach and amplify its impact on global eye health, specifically to address presbyopia among aging adults.
Expanding and Replicating the Community Health Entrepreneurs Model in Uganda: In partnership with Healthy Entrepreneurs (HE), a Uganda-based social enterprise, RestoringVision is implementing an innovative solution to presbyopia for people in rural Uganda. Healthy Entrepreneurs trains and equips thousands of Community Health Entrepreneurs to provide essential healthcare products to last-mile consumers in low-income communities with very limited access to health services. Through this partnership, Community Health Entrepreneurs are incorporating vision screenings and reading glasses into their baskets of health goods delivered directly to outlying communities across the country. The LIF grant enables RestoringVision and Healthy Entrepreneurs to document key learnings and plan the expansion of vision care delivery to last-mile consumers in other parts of Uganda and in several other African countries.
Co-Creating a Breakthrough Plan to Solve Presbyopia for Millions of People Living in Poverty: Presbyopia is a pervasive age-related vision condition solvable with reading glasses affecting billions of people globally. Those living in impoverished settings face the greatest barriers to addressing this due to the lack of access to vision screenings and reading glasses in their communities. In partnership with LIF, RestoringVision will spearhead an audacious plan aimed at tackling presbyopia on a global scale. This initiative will bring together subject matter experts, researchers, innovators, and partners to develop sustainable solutions that will alleviate the burden of presbyopia for tens of millions annually, particularly among the 826 million people lacking equitable access to vision screenings and reading glasses to correct presbyopia.
To support this cause, donate at https://restoringvision.org/donate/.
RestoringVision is a global nonprofit dedicated to ending the global vision crisis. The organization is committed to creating equitable access to vision services and eyeglasses, particularly for individuals living on less than $2 a day. One billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed, 81% of which could be corrected with a simple pair of reading glasses. We work to solve this global crisis by partnering with our unparalleled network of more than 3,000 NGOs and government partners to provide life-changing vision screenings and eyeglasses to millions of people who could not access them otherwise. RestoringVision has reached more than 25 million people in 147 countries since 2003. For more information, visit restoringvision.org.
CONTACT: Stephanie Godward, Director of Marketing and Communications, RestoringVision, Marketing@restoringvision.org