In March, we had a chapter relations phone call with Andrea Haymore from the Essilor Vision Foundation, and I’d like to share with our chapters this opportunity to collaborate with the Essilor Vision Foundation and tap into their Corporate Mission offerings.

Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) is a non-profit organization committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences, and to providing underprivileged people the opportunity to live a better life through better sight. EVF directly serves youth across the country providing eye exams and glasses, and supports vision charities and optometrists who serve underprivileged populations in the US with in-kind stock lenses and lab services. EVF looks to offset costs so charitable agencies and optometrists can extend their outreach and sustain their efforts. 

How it Works:

  • Vision partners are responsible for securing frames
  • EVF will provide a charitable lab account and online order entry for charitable jobs via a frame-to-come model at no-cost
  • Sign up online to express interest:

While EVF focuses on domestic vision needs, 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5NVG), a Corporate Mission program, addresses the 2.5 Billion people in the world who need vision services. 2.5NVG supports the need through Ready2Clip prescription eyewear. Ready2Clip is a glasses technology available outside the US with pre-edged lenses, where left and right are interchangeable across a large frame selection. There is a nominal cost to purchase Ready2Clip eyewear – for less cost than a return flight to dispense. Contact Shindhe Gunputh (shindhe.gunputh@essilor.com) for more information or to purchase Ready2Clip glasses. 

Essilor Vision Foundation is a proud sponsor of Optometry Cares® – The AOA Foundation’s Healthy Eyes Healthy Children Community Grants program. Optometrists are encouraged to apply for grants (up to $5,000 per project) to support intervention and examination initiatives focused on children’s vision. In addition to the grant dollars, Essilor Vision Foundation will provide lenses and lab services at no cost for awardees, offer portable examination equipment and access to discount frames, as available. Submission is open to all Optometrists with written approval from the AOA State Optometric Affiliate where the proposal resides. Please visit  http://www.aoafoundation.org/HEHC to apply April – July 15, 2017.

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

VOSH/International recently consulted its US and International Chapters about the feasibility and timing to restart our humanitarian clinics. While the vaccination process continues with different levels of success depending on availability and acceptance, it is evident that vaccine inequity and the availability and reliability of data in several countries are issues we need to consider.

Even if already vaccinated, our chapters are still concerned about the wellbeing of our volunteers and patients.  Some chapters, are organizing clinics locally where they are better able to comply with the existing safety requirements and respective state/country regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced quite differently depending on state, region, country, vaccine availability, vaccine acceptance, and the spread of SARS-COV-2 variants. Most VOSH chapters are not holding clinics or traveling internationally in 2021.

Thus, VOSH/International is slightly moderating its overall guidance against clinics and travel issued in late March 2020 and renewed in January 2021. This will be reviewed and communicated on a quarterly basis.

If a VOSH Chapter choses to hold a clinic or travel internationally, we highly recommend that the chapter performs due diligence to comply fully with the requirements established by the visited country, ensures all VOSH volunteers are aware of and follow strict safety guidelines and all existing protocols and regulations of the country, and keeps the principle of “do no harm” embedded in all its decision making. As always, the wellbeing and safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process. We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context. VOSH chapters in specific countries are using protocols that need to be considered as well. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here.

*VOSH/International is formed by autonomous US and international chapters that are fully and only responsible for their activities, fundraising and decision-making.  VOSH/International can only provide recommendations based on our best knowledge and information at the time.

Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

July 2021