On Thursday, April 10, 2014, We See, A Child Eye Health Project, launched in South Africa. We See will provide eye exams and glasses, donated by Nike Vision, to 30,000 schoolchildren in Soweto, South Africa, over the next three years. The goal is to reduce vision impairment among schoolchildren by 90%, offering new opportunities to succeed in school and in life.
More than 600 students of three local schools participated in the day’s activities that included a celebrity soccer match with players from the Kaizer Chiefs and other local celebrities.
During the day, 28 children received their glasses for the first time. One student was so nearsighted that anything more than three inches away was effectively blurry. Imagine what’s possible now that this student can see well enough to read, write, and play sports like soccer!
The project grew out of a 2012 visit by VSP Global representatives, including Chairman of Optometric Innovation Dr. Matthew Alpert, to the Nike Football Training Centre.
During that visit, nearly 200 students and staff members at a local school received eye exams and glasses. Over the last two years, teachers at the school have noted that many of the students who received glasses have shown improvements in their class participation and learning.
Inspired by the experience, VSP Global companies, including Marchon Eyewear and Nike Vision, collaborated with Brien Holden Vision Institute, the Republic of South Africa Gauteng Departments of Health and Education, and Optometry Giving Sight to launch We See, A Child Eye Health Project.
Follow We See on the VSP Blog for the latest stories about the project and the children as they see what’s possible with healthy eyes and clear vision.
View images from the day’s events below.