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Bringing Vision to the Developing World

Global Vision 2020 (GV2020.org) has partnered with Governor Bill Richardson’s Center for Global Engagement to provide logistics support to deliver humanitarian aid to the vulnerable populations of the world. GV2020 is an Easton, Maryland based non-profit, directed by former U.S. Marine, Kevin White, which is dedicated to helping the world see clearly by distributing user-adjustable eyeglasses to the 2.3 billion people worldwide who live without access to optometrists.

GV2020 had approached the Richardson Center in hopes of working together because of their similar mission of humanitarian aid and their complimentary skill sets. “I am very excited to partner with GV2020. Making eyeglasses available to currently underserved communities has significant implications for financial inclusion: improving employability, increasing access to education and even reducing traffic fatalities” said Governor Richardson.

“It’s a fantastic partnership. This type of humanitarian aid program – with a goal to scale the availability of eyeglasses to the billions of people in vulnerable and isolated areas of the world – will succeed because of Gov. Richardson’s proven diplomatic successes and GV2020’s effective distribution plan,” states Kevin.

The Richardson Center will spearhead the identification and development of diplomatic end-roads to build the sustainable partnerships necessary for broad acceptance and scalable programs. GV2020 will take the lead on fundraising, operations, and implementation of a national level pilot program for eyeglasses distribution in Africa.

The lack of vision care options in the developing world first came to Kevin’s attention in 2005, while on assignment in Morocco. He witnessed an eyeglasses clinic that provided donated eyeglasses; and although helpful to some, not everyone could find a match. He returned home determined to find a better solution. What he found was Oxford Professor Josh Silver’s user-adjustable, liquid silicon filled eyeglasses. The eyeglasses allow the user to dial in their own prescription – self refract – allowing a distributor to quickly aid those in need. Kevin explained, “It takes about 15 minutes to help the average patient. We’ve developed a proven, standard procedure, with the help of the Center for Vision in the Developing World (CVDW), to efficiently and effectively distribute eyeglasses to anyone over the age of 12 with basic refractive error.”

GV2020 hopes to facilitate international awareness of the problem, as well as international support for the solution. To learn more about how to help Global Vision 2020 (gv2020.org), and the Richardson Center (RichardsonDiplomacy.org) deliver sight to the 2.3 billion people living in vulnerable populations of the world, please visit their respective websites, follow @gv2020_org, and like Global Vision 2020 on Facebook.

For further information, please contact Rebecca White at 410-714-9602 or rgw@gv2020.org

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