Reaching the 2.5 billion people worldwide who do not have access to the vision care they need took a step closer to reality this month when the Essilor Group launched the Vision For Life program. Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Essilor’s Chief Corporate Mission Officer and Chairman of the two boards that will administer the funds, explained how it will work.
“Vision for Life is a global strategic giving program that will fund, monitor and measure the impact of projects showing the most potential to scale up and improve the lives of as many people as possible through improved access to vision care,” he said. “The project commits 30 million Euros to two nonprofit entities, one in France and one in the US, that will raise awareness, build capacity and create infrastructure in areas that currently lack access to vision care.”
Vision for Life is an over-arching initiative, which aims to build on the existing charitable infrastructure in order to create lasting change in access to vision care.
He stressed that Vision for Life is not a corporate progam, but administered entirely by the two non-profit organizations Essilor Social Impact France and Essilor Social Impact Fund USA. Operating at arms’ length from Essilor, they will allocate support on applications made to their financial committees.
“The focus is a range of creative support mechanisms towards widening access to good vision care. Criteria include fulfilling unmet needs, the experience of the managing teams, prospects for long-term sustainability and whether or not it is possible to scale them up,” he explained.
Vision for Life adds another layer to other philanthropic entities created by the group, Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) and Vision Impact Institute (VII). Vision for Life is an over-arching initiative, which aims to build on the existing charitable infrastructure in order to create a lasting change in access to vision care.