RestoringVision is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to empower lives by restoring the vision of millions of people in need. Since our founding in 2003, we have worked to create equitable access to vision services and eyeglasses for people living in impoverished communities across the globe. Many of those we serve live in communities that lack the disposable income to afford a pair of glasses, the channels necessary to supply them, or both. The majority suffer from age-related vision loss, otherwise known as presbyopia, which creates barriers for people to perform many tasks that require the ability to see close up. When uncorrected, presbyopia can impair personal safety, productivity, health, independence, access to education, and overall quality of life.
With the aging population on the rise across Latin America and the Caribbean, in Q4 2022, RestoringVision set out to ensure 75,000 impoverished Peruvians aged 65 and older would receive vision screenings and glasses to correct presbyopia over a six-month period. This project was launched through our Global Access Program and is part of a larger effort to serve a total of 500,000 aging Peruvians by December 2024.
To support this objective, we are collaborating with our long-time partner Management Sciences for Health Peru (MSH), an affiliate of MSH U.S. (a leading global health non-profit), as well as Peru's government program "Pension 65", which provides impoverished Peruvians aged 65 and older with food assistance and social services. As of January 16, 2023, our program has thus far reached 19,575 impoverished Peruvians ages 65 and older with the glasses they need.
Over 1 billion people globally have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed. Of these, 81% or 826 million people suffer from presbyopia, which can be easily corrected with a pair of reading glasses. However, 90% of these individuals live in impoverished communities without access to vision care. As a result, many elders in low- and middle-income countries need access to vision screenings and glasses that can correct their presbyopia.
This need is especially pressing in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the aging population is growing and expected to increase 20% by 2050. To ensure impoverished elders in this region have the services they need to correct presbyopia, now and in the future, RestoringVision is taking swift action to scale and serve as many people as possible across Latin America and the Caribbean.
As such, we've partnered with MSH Peru, as well as the Peruvian Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion’s Pension 65 program, to ensure the aging population in Peru has access to vision services and reading glasses to address presbyopia.
Progress Against Project Goal
Our project in Peru was launched against the backdrop of a contested election, followed by political unrest across the country. Despite this, MSH Peru committed to implementing our vision project with Pension 65 to ensure aging adults received the vision services and glasses they needed.
As the overall project is to reach 500,000 by the end of 2024, we set a goal to reach 75,000 over six months. To achieve this, our plan was to begin project implementation in October; however, due to an election fraught with tension and the political and social unrest that followed, we were not able to begin our program until November. Hence, as of the submission of this report, 19,575 impoverished Peruvians ages 65 and older received glasses. Our plan is to deliver the remaining 55,425 by March 2023 to achieve our first goal of 75,000 people served. With corrected vision, these individuals will be able to live more productive, independent, and safe lives.
By 2024, we will have served all 500,000 people through this program. Over the long term, we aim to create sustainable access to vision services and glasses for all impoverished people ages 65 and older in Peru, as well as for people living in poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean at large.
From everyone at RestoringVision, we thank our partners who donated to support our work in Peru via GlobalGiving's platform. These contributions helped make our work in Q4 2022 possible. We are honored to be among the non-profit organizations you chose to support in 2022, and we look forward to continuing to work with GlobalGiving in 2023 to bring clear vision to those who need it most.