In South Africa, 60% of children with low vision could be helped by wearing glasses, but just 20% of them have access. With dreams of becoming a medical doctor, Phumla, a 16-year-old student with poor vision, needed glasses to reach her full potential.
“My vision made it difficult for me to learn as I was slower than my peers and I would often miss out on important information,” Phumla explains. “This resulted in a lot of extra time at school, as I would have to stay in class, during lunch breaks or after school to properly write down what the teacher had taught.”
Outside of school, safety was also a daily concern. “Trying to cross a busy street with streaming eyes and poor visibility is not the safest thing in the world,” she explained.
Phumla’s new Nike Vision glasses, donated by Marchon Eyewear, made it easier for the whole family.
“My parents will be as happy as I am,” she said. “They were trying to save money to send me to an optometrist, but it was taking a long time. So the fact that I got an eye exam and glasses for free is hugely helpful.”
Phumla is one of more than 33,000 students in Soweto, South Africa, who have received vision screenings—and nearly 1,500 students who have received comprehensive eye exams—through We See, A Child Eye Health Project. The project teams VSP Global businesses with Brien Holden Vision Institute and the Gauteng Province Ministries of Health and Education.
Watch to learn more about the project, the partners, and the Soweto, South Africa, community: