Last night, I had the pleasure of attending One Sight's World Sight Day Campaign, hosted by Red Light PR. It was my first time learning about the campaign and organization and I'm so thankful to have been introduced because it truly is a remarkable campaign for a wonderful cause, one that was of particular interest to me, being that I wear contacts and have lived most of my life, since the age of 6, wearing glasses. 563 million people cannot see without assisted eye care, that's over a 1/2 billion people!
One Sight is an organization that seeks to provide universal eye care around the world, as well as in the U.S. It was founded 25 years ago by world class optometrists, clinicians, industry experts, and volunteers. Since it's development in 1988, One Sight has provided eye care services and eyewear to more than 8 million people in 40 countries, including 14 new countries this year alone! Of those 8 million, they provide free eye exams and their free first pair of glasses to those living in underserved countries and partner with their local communities, to provide permanent access to affordable eye care and eyewear.
Dr. Jason Singh, optometrist and executive director of One Sight (seen in photo above), who spoke at the launch party, stressed the importance of One Sight's mission in providing permanent access to affordable eye services in communities around the world. As many of you who wear glasses or contacts know, eye care is apart of an going health care service needed to maintain proper eye health and conditions. Providing a permanent and sustainable location gives the locals a sense of stability and trust in knowing that their eye care needs will always be met, especially in developing countries, such as The Gambia, a small country in West Africa, where living conditions and life expectancies are low (in 2004 the average life expectancy was mid 40s), due primarily to poor healthcare service and access. Prior to One Sight's service in 2013, The Gambia had only one optometrist to 1.8 million people; a remarkable and senseless statistic!
Not only does One Sight seek to provide universal eye care services, they also aim at educating locals in the communities they serve as technicians, to provide jobs and allow fellow natives to supply services to those in their own communities and countries. Dr. Singh shared that this past week, the clinic in The Gambia hit a major sales milestone, having sold over 1 million dalasi in eye care, an outstanding accomplishment! This demonstrates One Sight's goal to assist in rebuilding and strengthening not only the eye sight of millions around the world, but the community infrastructures as well! Not only does One Sight provide assistance in developing underserved countries, they also award 10 scholarships to students studying in the field of optometry with $5k towards their tuition annually! As well as provide $8M toward vision preservation organizations that aim at finding a cure for diabetic retinopathy such as, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Schepens Eye Research Institute, the Cleveland Clinic, and many more. Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of blindness in the U.S., affecting 7.7 million.
In a world where 80% of learning is visual, this global eye care crisis cannot and should not be overlooked. Did you know within our own backyards, 66% of American children need glasses, 2/3 children? With this statistic you'd be amazed in learning that eye care screenings are no longer given to children within the NYC public school systems, that's 1.1 million children who's eye care needs are being overlooked. How much of this can we equivocate to poor grades and low retention? Something must be done and you can do something to help! You can donate and/or create your own fundraising campaign in which you can invite your friends and family to donate, to be apart of One Sight's mission to end the global vision care crisis, you can visit One Sight's website to learn more about ways to donate, as well as their mission and read stories from those who have benefited from One Sight's clinic services globally.
The way I see it, everyone deserves to see the world around them, how and what do you see?
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading!