Seeing the Light

If you are able to read this blog post and see well the faces of your loved ones, you should consider yourself lucky. Do you know that 150 million people need glasses but don’ t have access to them as they are too expensive or simply not available?

Symon trying his new glasses. Credits: Martin Aufmuth

Symon trying his new glasses. Credits: Martin Aufmuth

Symon comes from Zomba in Malawi. He is 80 years old and almost died last year as he couldn’t support himself and his family anymore, not being able to work as a farmer any longer due to his poor vision.

This year, all the neighbors contributed to buying him a pair of OneDollarGlasses with -4.5 diopters for both eyes, changing his life forever. As he says himself, he is now able to see the birds, which he only could hear so far. He was also able to go back farming and now provides for himself.

Symon’s case isn’t isolated and touches kids as well as adults. This has far reaching consequences from not being able to study to not being able to walk on your own. Globally, potential productivity loss from people living with uncorrected vision is estimated to be 121 billion USD. This is as much as the entire Development Aid worldwide per year. This is why OneDollarGlasses is committed to bring locally-made glasses to the poorest.

OneDollarGlasses developed small manual machines to produce high quality glasses using raw material costing only 1USD. It empowers local people to create sustainable businesses producing and selling affordable glasses to the poorest. OneDollarGlasses has already set up successful programs in nine countries including Malawi.


 

MartinMartin Aufmuth is the inventor of the OneDollarGlasses and the founder and President of the OneDollarGlasses Association. His goal is to supply at least 150 million of poor people worldwide with affordable, high quality and locally produced eyeglasses. OneDollarGlasses Association is currently active in the following countries: Burkina Faso, Benin, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Bangladesh. In October 2013, he was awarded the first prize of the empowering people Award of the Siemens Foundation among 800 projects worldwide.

Before starting OneDollarGlasses, and while being a maths and physics teacher in Erlangen, he initiated the largest competition of climate protection for children in Germany and conducted it for five years.

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