March 1, 2017
We set out a little over a year ago to make a major contribution to the world’s immense– and growing– vision problem, specifically uncorrected refractive error. Last month, we took another step with a literal contribution to an organization that shares our mission. A few months ago, we came across a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands called TwoBillionEyes. We were inspired by the foundation’s goals.
TwoBillionEyes was created to deliver low cost vision correction to fulfill needs in developing countries, based on the fact that about one billion persons in the world today do not have access to vision care and corrective refraction tools. The TwoBillionEyes website notes a few key statistics:
1. Some 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision.
2. About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings.
3. 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above.
4. Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries.
5. Over 500 million people need glasses for reading but lack access or funds to acquire them
6. It has been calculated that eyeglasses increase productivity by 35 percent and reading glasses have the potential to increase months earning by 20 percent. This deficiency is costing our potential worldwide earnings approximately $120 billion a year.
We launched a Kickstarter campaign in November, not to raise funding, but rather to validate our product value with real people. So, we decided to augment our campaign, with a commitment to donate 3 percent of the total pledges to this incredible that helps those without the privilege of clear vision in the world.
On the last day of January 2017, we donated $4031.61 to TBE’s cause. This donation will partially fund TBE’s next mission in Kenya to train 24 local Vision Collaborators, empowering them with the tools and skill to deliver over a thousand pairs of eyeglasses, further contributing to the foundation’s efforts to expand its footprint and customer base.
The foundation is able to assemble a pair of glasses in 10 minutes at a low cost of 5 Euros. They have successfully distributed clear vision to 200 eyes of the students of 1 school in Kibera (the largest slum of Africa in Nairobi) and 3 schools in Mombasa area on their first mission to Kenya.
EyeQue and TBE are actively seeking opportunities to create affordable and innovative products that can be used on future global outreach programs.
To learn more and donate directly to TBE, visit their website.
The total cost to train 24 local Vision Collaborators and distribute 3000 pairs of glasses is $70,000. Your donation of $23 will provide a life-changing experience, either to those learning useful skill to enrich their community or to those seeing clearly for the first time in their lives.
Images are property of TwoBillionEyes.