Thursday, October 11, 2012

World Sight Day: Helping the World to See

Thursday, October 11th is World Sight Day, and two milestones have been reached.

The nonprofit health organization Seva Foundation is shining the spotlight has restored eyesight for more than 3 million people and created sustainable eye care programs. It notes that every five seconds someone around the world goes blind and 80% of blindness is preventable or curable.

Meanwhile more than 16 million children in Asia have received free vision screening through Sight for Kids, a partnership program with the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) now marking its 10th anniversary, according to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Sight for Kids has arranged to screen hundreds of students on World Sight Day, October 11 at a school in Bangkok. This event is part of an effort to screen another 1 million kids in six Asia Pacific countries during 2012 alone.

At the same time, Essilor Group and Lions Club International will finance free eye exams in three of Istanbul's hospitals. Essilor’s six partners in Turkey will also take action by launching a public awareness campaign on the importance of good vision, which will be kicked off on World Sight Day. In Asia, free eye exams will be organized, for example in Thailand, where employees from Essilor sites  will provide vision screenings and free corrective lenses for orphanages and underprivileged families. In China, employees will be involved in an awareness raising action at Essilor’s showroom dedicated to ophthalmic education, installed in the “Dragonland” mall, between Beijing and the Great Wall. In Latin America, Essilor teams in Brazil and Argentina will launch public awareness campaigns on the need for good vision, carried out by opticians and ophthalmological associations, and via social networks. In France, as part of its special partnership with Lions Club, volunteer teams from Essilor will accompany Lions Club teams in their information campaigns and free eye exam events in more than 20 cities. This year’s World Sight Day will be given a special boost by an artistic happening created for the general public: in Charenton-le-Pont, the Parisian suburb where Essilor’s headquarters are based, urban artist Manfred Stader will create an ephemeral, interactive 3D work on the theme of sight and better vision. In Germany, in association with frames manufacturer Silhouette, Essilor teams will offer 3,000 corrective lenses and distribute eyeglasses to underprivileged populations in Berlin.

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