Children do not even know that they have a vision problem because they believe that everyone else sees like them.
School children's vision problem in Mali is a dormant problem. Most children who face this type of challenge can not even tell their teachers about their problem. Even if the children understand that they have a vision problem, their parents may not afford to pay for eye glasses, which means that they are doomed by their handicap. Therefore, they will not be able to learn to read and write, not because of their ability or intelligence but because they can not afford eye glasses.
The New Vision project was initiated to address this dormant problem, by Robert Sundqvist from Sweden. The project is now a partnership between a number of companies and organizations working together towards the common goal of providing professional eye consultations and eye glasses for free to school children in Mali, who are in need but can not afford them. This is to enable these children to realise their full potential.
During the last campaign in Sénou outside Bamako, we screened over 3.000 school children in eight schools for eye problems. Of these children, 400 were identified with some eye problems and were given a complete eye consultation. New Vision helped 249 children with free eye glasses and another 200 children received medical help. This campaign changed the life for these 249 children and their families, but it also put the attention to this problem and hopefully more children in Mali will understand that their reading problems actually is a vision problem and can be fixed with eye glasses.