Children do not even know that they have a vision problem because they believe that everyone else sees like them.
School children with vision problem in Mali is a dormant problem. Most children who face this type of challenge cannot 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 cannot afford eye glasses.
The New Vision project was initiated to address this dormant problem, by Robert Sundqvist from Sweden. The project is now a great partnership without overhead, between some Swedish eyeglass companies and organizations like World Vision Mali, Fondation Orange and APIDOM, 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 cannot afford them. This is to enable these children to realize their full potential.
During the last campaign in Diago outside Bamako in October, we screened over 2.400 school children in five schools for eye problems. New Vision helped 250 of these children with free eye glasses. This campaign changed the life for these 250 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.
For 2018 we are scaling up and will do two campaigns in more rural areas of Mali. The target is to do up to 6000 eye consultations and to help at least 5-600 school children with new eye glasses.
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