OneSight in the Gambia: the lasting impact of Luxottica's volunteers

OneSight in the Gambia: the lasting impact of Luxottica's volunteers

Every year hundreds of Luxotticans from around the world attend a OneSight clinic. They have different skills and backgrounds but share the desire to help achieve the main goal of OneSight: eradicate the global vision care crisis by providing access to vision care and quality eyewear to disadvantaged communities worldwide. But what is the task of a volunteer?

Onesight e i volontari Luxottica nel Gambia: un impatto concreto e duraturo

The Luxottica Group's commitment to OneSight is manifold, but the main engine is the involvement of its people. "Volunteers make our work happen," says Jason Singh, OneSight Executive Director. Since OneSight began its work over 25 years ago, its contribution has been crucial to helping more than 8.5 million people in need in 40 countries see clearly.

But what does this contribution really look like? Consider, for example, the OneSight Sustainable Vision Care Project launched in The Gambia. In 2013, OneSight volunteers travelled to The Gambia, a small West African country, to launch the pilot vision center for OneSight's first sustainable vision care project. Luxottica volunteers with a diverse range of skillsets worked to understand the culture, create the model, and train the Gambian vision center staff on how to provide Gambians with access to high-quality, affordable eyeglasses.

Six-months later the project was defined as a success, and the roll-out phase began. In 2014, three more vision centers were launched as well as a manufacturing lab. During each of these launches, volunteers in the areas of Marketing, Operations,Finance, Product, IT, Manufacturing, and Training and Development worked to enhance the model and to provide more training as well as on-the-job support for each vision center. Awareness campaigns were created, doctors provided local staff called "Optical Leads" with the skills necessary to conduct vision screenings in villages, and the Gambian vision center teams were trained and ready to accept those patients referred to the center for a complete eye exam.

The work of OneSight and Luxottica's volunteers in The Gambia has a dual impact: first, on the welfare of the population, given the greater number of people who now have access to vision care; and second, on the economy of the country, since new infrastructures are built and new skills transferred to local people, providing a micro economy around vision care services in The Gambia.

More than 17,000 Gambians went to the Vision Centers in 2014 and were all cared for by other Gambians, who were trained by OneSight staff and Luxottica volunteers. For many of them, this care has given them clear sight. Want to know more? Stay tuned: we'll be back soon!

Published on Jan 30 2015