SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 10, 2023) – This World Sight Day, RestoringVision is engaging its partners and donors to help millions of people around the world love their eyes by increasing awareness and equitable access to vision screenings and reading glasses, as 826 million people living in extreme poverty are struggling with presbyopia, near vision loss that occurs as a natural part of the aging process.
Seamstresses, tailors, farmers, and hundreds of millions of people do not have access to reading glasses that would greatly improve their ability to see, work productively, sustain their livelihoods, learn, and care for their families. On October 12, World Sight Day, RestoringVision is highlighting the solution for many of them: reading glasses.
“This World Sight Day, as RestoringVision also celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, we are focusing on raising awareness around the global vision crisis impacting over 1 billion people, and the fact that 81% of the issue area is solvable with reading glasses,” said Pelin Munis, Ph.D., CEO, RestoringVision. “Solving presbyopia on a global scale supports people in need because it is a cost-effective strategy to help people get back into the workforce and increase sustained livelihoods, it accelerates progress in solving the global vision crisis, and it opens pathways to more comprehensive eye care. RestoringVision wants to give everyone the chance to love their eyes, no matter their income or location.”
Through the International Agency for the Protection of Blindness’ World Sight Day #LoveYourEyes campaign, RestoringVision has pledged 1 million vision screenings and eyeglasses for the time period between July and October 2023 towards IAPB’s goal of reaching 10 million pledges of impact this year thus far. RestoringVision will reach 4 million people in 2023 alone.
The International Labour Organization and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) recently released a new report – Eye Health and the World of Work – that states that among the working-age population globally, workers with vision impairment are 30% less likely to be employed. Research shows that when an adult worker’s vision is restored with corrective eyeglasses, there is an increase in their productivity by up to 32%. This can be correlated to an increase in income by up to 20%. For an individual earning $2 per day, this equates to an increase in earning potential of $140 annually at the household level. In 2023, through RestoringVision’s programs, 4 million adults will receive vision-correcting glasses, which correlates to an additional $560 million in earning potential at the household level.
World Sight Day serves as a symbolic occasion to draw attention to the profound impact that vision correction can have on people’s lives, specifically in the world of work. People like Maria, a woman from Guatemala who attended a vision clinic and broke down in tears after receiving a pair of reading glasses through RestoringVision’s programs, experience the transformative power of clear vision. At 45 years old, she had been unable to work for six months due to presbyopia – blurry vision caused by aging. She knits for a living, and with the solution of a pair of reading glasses, she regained the ability to see and earn a wage once again. This pair of reading glasses is life-changing, as she can now work, be productive, and earn money to provide for herself and her family.
Together, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of millions by advocating for improved access to affordable reading glasses and empowering those affected by presbyopia to regain their visual independence. Here are two ways to get involved:
- DONATE. Every donation makes a difference as RestoringVison can restore someone’s sight for less than $2.
- Promote World Sight Day on your website and social media channels: Help spread the word through a blog post on your website or posts on your social media channels and tag RestoringVision. Find sample images in the toolkit. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn).
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 2,700 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 25 million people in 147 countries since 2003. For more information, visit restoringvision.org. Interested in partnering to support highly cost-effective programs that bring immediate and sustained transformation in marginalized people’s lives? Please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
# # #