In 2003, the World Optometry Foundation (WOF), the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) created Optometry Giving Sight to mobilize resources from the global optometric community to help eliminate refractive error blindness and low vision.
Optometry Giving Sight was first launched in the UK in 2003, followed by Australia and the Netherlands in 2004, the United States and Canada in 2005, and Italy in 2006. In 2009, Optometry Giving Sight launched in Norway, Singapore and Ireland.
Optometry Giving Sight is the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and a pair of glasses.
Optometry Giving Sight funds programs that offer not only eye exams and glasses in countries with little or no access to them, but that establish the infrastructure and train the local human resources required for sustainable, quality vision care.
At the end of 2011, Optometry Giving Sight will have allocated close to $5.5 million to projects that will give sight to people with refractive error blindness and impaired vision in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Indigenous Australia. The funds have been raised by optometrists, their staff, patients, and optometric students in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore and Norway.
To make a donation or to learn more about Optometry Giving Sight visit: www.givingsight.org.