Vision Health Interventions Advance Sustainable Development Goal #4 – Quality Education

Our blog series continues.

By Pelin Munis, Ph.D., Executive Director of RestoringVision

RestoringVision’s work lies at the intersection of global health, education, and economic development. We are fiercely committed to achieving a world in which everyone who needs glasses has them. By creating equitable access to vision services and eyeglasses around the world, particularly for those living on less than $2 a day, RestoringVision is working to level the playing field for students of all ages striving to advance their education. Without clear vision, the setbacks – for students and lifelong learners – are immense. Therefore, the prioritization of vision health directly advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education.

The World Health Organization states, “Young children with early onset severe vision impairment can experience lower levels of educational achievement, and in adults, it often affects the quality of life through lower productivity, decreased workforce participation, and high rates of depression.” Vision interventions are needed to give young and older minds the ability to reach their full potential. A simple pair of glasses has infinite ripple effects – the lack of access to vision services and eyeglasses in turn has detrimental ripple effects that can last a lifetime if left unaddressed.

SDG#4 Quality Education aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. Without clear vision, quality education is out of reach for those who do not have access to or the ability to afford a pair of eyeglasses. That’s where RestoringVision comes in and this is why we are scaling our work while developing sustainable programs to serve impoverished communities across the globe.

The UN Resolution Vision for Everyone states: “Recognizing that access to eye care is essential to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) and has a positive impact on school enrollment, educational attainment, learning, and the achievement of inclusive education systems.”

The WHO World Report on Vision states, “From the moment of birth, vision is critical to child development. For infants, visually recognizing and responding to parents, family members, and caregivers facilitates cognitive and social development and the growth of motor skills, coordination, and balance. From early childhood to adolescence, vision enables ready access to educational materials and is pivotal to educational attainment. It is also important for participation in sports and social activities that are essential to physical development, mental and physical health, personal identity, and socialization.”

Vision and the ability to see clearly is an input to so many aspects of a student’s life. Working together, we can ensure that students of all ages around the world have the chance to succeed and thrive in the classroom and in their professional development. With clear vision, students are able to pursue and achieve their own dreams and goals for the future. With clear vision – anything is possible.

Sandra, a high school student in Guatemala, had this to say about receiving a pair of glasses through RestoringVision’s programs: “Since I was little, I have had difficulty because my eyes get tired very often, and they burn a lot when I read. I’ve always had that problem with my vision. I received a pair of glasses and they have helped me in a big way because I use them to do my schoolwork and I also use them while I embroider. Every afternoon, that’s what I do. Then, I sell my embroidery and put that money towards my schooling. With the help of God, I will be able to finish high school and go to a university in the future.”

A simple pair of glasses is allowing Sandra to continue her studies as she also remarkably develops her entrepreneurial spirit – all because she gained access to a vision screening and eyeglasses through a RestoringVision program.

Join RestoringVision today in unlocking the full potential of students like Sandra around the world. Our work together will reshape the future of young and older minds worldwide for years to come. That’s a future that we all want to see clearly.