ONESIGHT - SEEING WELL IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF EVERY HUMAN BEING

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ONESIGHT - SEEING WELL IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF EVERY HUMAN BEING

Luxottica and OneSight have a lot in common: their inclination to dream big, their care for the environment and people, protecting and correcting their sight.

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OneSight was founded in 1988 in the United States as a simple program for giving glasses to people who cannot afford to buy them. In the following years the program developed, integrating eye-care into its work and rapidly growing throughout the United States. Geographical borders became a starting point for looking towards new horizons, as they did for Luxottica. In 1991f, OneSight’s first overseas mission was set up in Costa Rica to give the gift of sight to 8,600 residents in the country.

Since then, while its growth has been exponential in geographical, organisational and operational terms, OneSight ‘s mission remains loyal to its origins: to give the gift of sight to all those in need. This means, in practice, intervening to support communities that are unable to access quality eye-care and glasses on economic, cultural and social grounds. This problem concerns more than one billion people across the planet. With eye-care and a pair of glasses, many of them could regain excellent sight and study, work, communicate, and do their daily activities better, thus allowing them to live a fuller life. Since 1988, OneSight has helped over 9 million people in 46 countries collaborating with local health organisations, governments, schools, sector leaders, physicians and voluntary workers.

Luxottica plays an important role in this great social responsibility project: being a leading group in the production of glasses and eye-care means being on the front lines of the challenge to improve the quality of sight throughout the world. As the organisation's main supporter, every year Luxottica contributes with operational support, frame supplies and over 23,000 volunteers.

Luxottica employees are a great driving force behind OneSight's work. Selected for their specific skills and experience, they come from all over the world and offer the organisation a wealth of specialist skills, collaborating in various activities. In Rwanda's sustainable centres, for example, Luxottica employees devised a training plan for local staff. The team also fine-tuned an operational model which makes use of the vast network of Rwandan health care operators, tasked with creating awareness among the villagers as to the importance of taking care of one's eyes and directing them to the centre if necessary.

Thanks to the contribution of volunteers, OneSight offers quality, sustainable eye-care through immediate intervention or long-term solutions.

In the first case, OneSight supports philanthropic programs and temporary clinics taking the equipment and skills necessary for providing immediate eye-care and glasses for thousands of people within a few day or weeks wherever needed.

In the second case, the drive for excellence which Luxottica Group shares, has inspired the development of an innovative, sustainable operation model. OneSight was the first organisation to create permanent eye-care centres in communities in need throughout the world.  These centers employ local adequately-trained staff, resulting in positive consequences for the people and the region thanks to new infrastructures and employment opportunities, the transfer of skills to local staff and to the economic microsystem which develops around the centres.

The sustainable pilot project began in Gambia in 2013 and was exported to Rwanda in 2015. In Gambia, the program, completed in 2016, led to the opening of seven permanent eye-care centres set up in the regional hospitals as well as a central production laboratory in the capital Banjul. The entire population of around 1.8 million inhabitants can now access eye-care. What is more, the new structures have also guaranteed the creation of 185 new jobs.

Another sustainable model promoted by OneSight consists of the construction of permanent eye-care centres in the schools within already-existing health care structures. The cornerstone of these initiatives is the consideration that vision defects prevent people from studying successfully and can impede personal growth in young people, a problem found not only in less developed countries, but also in cities, suburbs and rural areas of more affluent countries.

Between 2012 and 2016, OneSight opened four centres in the United States, in schools in Ohio and California, offering eye-care to a total of around 135,000 pupils. At the same time, it set up a grant program called "Focus on Sight" appropriated to local partners that intend to develop the model in their own schools.

Other important projects have been set up in China, India and in many other countries. This global commitment in 2016 alone allowed three million people to access to quality eye-care. 

Published on Apr 11 2017