RestoringVision’s Visionary Journey: From WHO SPECS 2030 Launch, to New Catalytic Funding, and Engaging at the Skoll World Forum

 By Pelin Munis, Ph.D., CEO, RestoringVision 

Dear Partners, Donors, and Supporters, 

I am thrilled to share with you the remarkable progress and impactful milestones achieved by RestoringVision and our global community in the past few months as we continue our visionary journey toward solving the global vision crisis. 

This May, I traveled to Geneva, Switzerland as a member of the WHO Global SPECS Network Foundation Committee to support the launch of the WHO SPECS 2030 Initiative, marking a pivotal moment in the global effort to address and solve uncorrected refractive error.  

This initiative, endorsed by WHO Member States, sets a bold target to increase effective coverage of refractive error by 40 percentage points by 2030. As a committed and leading advocate for increased access to vision care for all, RestoringVision is honored to be part of this groundbreaking initiative, and alongside me at these exciting events were VP of Global Programs and Impact, Mark Lorey, and our VP of Philanthropy, Aminah Yoba. 

With the launch of SPECS 2030, we are presented with an opportunity to amplify our impact and contribute to achieving this ambitious goal. By collaborating with WHO and other key stakeholders, we can leverage RestoringVision’s 20 years of expertise and resources to ensure that millions more individuals receive the vision care they desperately need to advance educations, livelihoods, and so much more. 

Building upon this momentum, I am also thrilled to announce that RestoringVision has been awarded a $4 million grant from Founders Pledge to expand our presbyopia programs with partners in India and Nigeria. This significant investment of catalytic funding will enable us to implement three large-scale initiatives, reaching an additional total of 2.5 million people living in poverty with uncorrected presbyopia. This is a major moment in our organization’s history and a tipping point that will open even more doors to our ability to rapidly scale our programs and grow our worldwide community. 

The Founders Pledge-funded programs in India and Nigeria are strategically designed to prioritize serving individuals aged 35-65 engaged in visually intensive occupations, such as tailors, weavers, mechanics, carpenters, and farmers. Through partnerships with local organizations and leveraging existing networks, RestoringVision will conduct vision screenings and provide reading glasses to those in need, empowering them to continue their work with clarity and confidence. 

As we embark on these transformative projects, I am also proud to share my recent participation in the Skoll World Forum this past April, made possible by a generous sponsorship from the Livelihood Impact Fund, another of RestoringVision’s catalytic funders. Attending this prestigious event for the first time in our organization’s history was a humbling and inspiring experience. The Skoll World Forum brought together some of the brightest minds and most passionate changemakers from around the world, all united by a shared mission to drive positive social change. 

Our presence at Skoll reaffirms our dedication to creating a world where everyone who needs glasses has them. With over 3,000 NGO and government partners worldwide, RestoringVision is committed to transforming lives by providing clear vision and eyeglasses to people in need. Our debut at Skoll marks the beginning of a visionary journey towards global impact, where engaging discussions and inspiring speakers shed light on various global challenges, including the vision crisis. 

At RestoringVision, we believe in the power of collective action to create positive change. Together with our partners, donors, and supporters, we can work towards a world where everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has access to the vision care they need to thrive. As we continue to forge new partnerships and collaborations, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to #ChangeTheWorld and ensure that no one is left behind due to uncorrected vision. 

Thank you for being a part of RestoringVision’s global community of changemakers. 

Warm regards, 

Pelin Munis, Ph.D. 

CEO, RestoringVision