8 million people in Kenya are living with uncorrected poor vision. Through its Eye Rafiki program, Essilor seeks to bring affordable vision care to low-income communities.
Leveraging a proven model
The Eye Rafiki program is another example of how Essilor is adapting its successful Eye Mitra model in India – the world’s largest rural optical network. In Kenya, unemployed or underemployed youth will be trained to become primary vision care providers known as Eye Rafiki Optical Technicians.
Creating primary vision care capacity
Essilor works together with local partners – the likes of NGO Matibabu Foundation and training services provider Centum Learning – to recruit and train Eye Rafiki to serve three rural and semi-urban areas in the west and southwest of Kenya. Eye Rafiki follow a certified vocational training in refraction and visual health over twelve months and learn the business skills to create their own business selling prescription glasses. Their role: to correct and protect vision through selling prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses and refer those in need for additional visual health treatment.
The creation of this first network of Eye Rafiki in Kenya will help address the vision care needs of 2.74 million people across three counties.
Since 2013, Essilor has been exploring different inclusive business models to solve the issue of access to vision care by creating the infrastructure to serve ‘base of the pyramid’ consumers.