Alfred Koala, a two-year VSP Global employee, knows firsthand the power of education to transform lives.
Born in Burkina Faso, he lived in a village where food, drinkable water, and doctors are often in short supply. His desire for an education brought him to the U.S., where he founded Feeding Nations Through Education (FNTE) while attending university. The organization aims to improve life for villagers in West Africa through training and education.
Through his work at VSP, Alfred knew that a simple pair of glasses could empower many more villagers to get the training and education they need. So, on his latest trip to Burkina Faso, Alfred was joined by VSP provider Dr. Lawrence Morse, an ophthalmologist at the UC Davis Eye Center and the first eye doctor many of the villagers had seen. Together with the FNTE team, they carried 2,750 pairs of prescription glasses donated through Eye Make A Difference plus 2,000 pairs of sunglasses donated by Marchon Eyewear.
To date, in addition to creating the eye care clinic, FNTE has successfully installed wells in three villages to provide clean drinking water to more than 10,000 people, provided 37 families each with two ox and a plow, and sent more than 120 children, including 16 orphans, to school to receive an education.
In December 2014, for his selfless dedication to the community, Alfred was honored by VSP Global with a People First Award, which recognizes VSP employees for their outstanding accomplishments and service in the community.
If you want to donate your gently used glasses to help people—like those in Alfred’s home country—see and achieve their full potential, visit www.globaleyesofhope.com to learn more about the Eyes of Hope eyewear donation program, Eye Make A Difference.