Optical waiting rooms can be more than a place to catch up on news and read magazines. You can inform your patients on the lack of access to vision care around the world through books, posters, and donation boxes. Your practice could contribute to helping up to 1.1 billion visually impaired people receive exams, glasses, or other medical assistance.
If you're looking for the full list of vision charities so you can browse yourself, we've compiled one in a previous blog post here. However, if you want our recommendation for the best global charities we trust, read on. We searched through our comprehensive list of global eye charities and these few stood out for their dedication and ingenuity.
SEE International has been providing free exams, cataract operations, and vision education through opthalmic surgeons for over 40 years to those who live below the poverty line around the world. Although SEE has a list of large donors for supplies, they are always in need of individual donations for the cost of the surgeries. Curing blindness is the first step to reducing poverty and hunger in the 45 developing countries that SEE helps annually.
The Essilor Vision Foundation focuses on helping underprivileged people in the USA, India, China, and Southeast Asia. The foundation focuses on educating people about the importance of taking care fo their eyes, partners with local communities and groups, provides free screenings and glasses, and insures that they make eyecare accessible in the area for years to come. From myopia to blindness, EVF is eliminating poor vision and helping promote "a better life through better sight" for all.
VOSH supports existing local eye clinics, schools, and professionals who aren't able to provide sufficient vision care due to lack of funds, materials, or people. In order to effectively learn and grow, around 1.1 billion people in the world need access to glasses or vision repair. VOSH uplifts those who are attempting to close this gap by providing volunteers, glasses, classes, and other equipment for over 30 countries around the world.
With a focus on children, gender equity, and sustainability, Seva partners with over 90 local hospitals and other institutions around the world to provide access, training, and materials to marginalized communities. With low-cost surgeries, glasses, and preventative medicine, Seva offers multiple avenues for people to donate regularly, donate once, give gifts, fundraise, or volunteer their time to help their cause.
In addition to educating people around the world, training healthcare workers, and gathering volunteers to insure sustainable eye health globally, Orbis created a Flying Eye Hospital. Their aircraft serves as an interactive way for government officials to meet with the doctors and staff as well as train incoming technicians and professionals. Orbis is committed to leaving a locality with better education on how they can stop blindness in their community for the long-term.
Optometry Giving Sight is a fundraising initiative that focuses on treating impaired vision and blindness from uncorrected refractive error. The millions of people they help just need a simple pair of glasses or an eye exam to make a large impact on their lives. The fundraiser supports programs and local non-government organizations that work to provide materials, exams, and education. With OGS's powerful partner network, they can empower local programs to widen their scope and increase their longevity.
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This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated in 2021 for richness of content.