The Eye Health Heroes 2021 is a programme led by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), which celebrates young and upcoming frontline staff, volunteers, support staff and more within the eye health sector. We spoke to Marygorrette Kyale, Eye Rafiki Program Manager and Damien Motteau, Senior Business Manager at 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5NVG) who were recognized as a Future Leader and Change Maker respectively.
- Congratulations to both of you on the achievement! What does this award mean to you?
Mary: Thank you, it is an honor. This award gives me the opportunity to reflect on what I have achieved so far. It is also a great networking opportunity to engage with other award winners. Partnerships are the cornerstone of EssilorLuxottica’s social impact work in Africa and I believe that this will build more connections that can be used to achieve our mission.
Damien: I’m extremely honored to receive this award and also delighted to see EssilorLuxottica’s mission and achievements recognized by IAPB. This award is the result of teamwork; from the 2.5NVG staff on the front line, as well as EssilorLuxottica employees who one way or another supported this bold and ambitious mission to eliminate poor vision.
- What do you think it takes to be a Future Leader in the vision care industry?
Mary: A future leader should be visionary, be able to mobilize stakeholders and teams in the eye health ecosystem towards an integrated, people-centered service to ensure eye care is accessible to all.
- What do you see as the areas that need the most change within the vision care industry?
Damien: The vision care industry needs to pivot to become more environmentally friendly. As the global leader that we are, EssilorLuxottica has a large part to play in this, while continuing our mission to offer vision care to all.
- What are your proudest achievements throughout your career so far?
Mary: Some of my proudest achievements include mobilizing pioneer optometrists trained in Kenya to establish the Optometrists Association of Kenya, under the Republic of Kenya Societies Act, as well as spearheading discussions with the Ministry of Health Kenya to develop the Optometrists scheme of service.
Damien: I’m most proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Eye Rafiki program as this model could pave the way for new approaches to tackle poor vision in Kenya.
- What are you most excited about? Both for your own work at EssilorLuxottica, as well as for the wider vision care industry?
Mary: I’m excited to be able to shine a light on the efforts of the 2.5NVG team through the programs and partnerships we undertake.
Damien: The past 3 years have been very exciting with major milestones reached within the industry, including presenting EssilorLuxottica’s roadmap to eliminating poor vision at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly and more recently the UN resolution signed by 193 countries to make eye care accessible to all by 2030. I am looking forward to seeing EssilorLuxottica’s new projects to tackle poor vision and partnering with even more like-minded organizations to join us on this journey.