With Lentes al Instante (Colombia), GoodVision has already opened its fourth program in South America in 2021. Natalia Buitrago and her young team are gradually opening up more and more regions of the country.
vision tests carried out
More than 40 percent of the 51 million inhabitants are considered poor. Poverty is above average in rural areas, where ethnic minorities in particular live.
There are opticians in the big cities, but hardly any in the countryside. According to the IAPB, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, an estimated 7.8 million people will suffer from sight loss in 2020, 300,000 of whom will be blind.
Pioneering work in Colombia
It took a good three years to overcome all the bureaucratic hurdles. This is because the official requirements in Colombia are very strict: all materials require special certification. Every eye test must be carried out by state-certified optometrists and must take place separately from the glasses fitting. Both may only take place in a closed room.
Our solution to this challenge
By converting a truck into a 7-metre-long mobile vision center, the Colombian team was able to provide the rural population with eye tests and glasses from August 2022. The demand is enormous. Requests are already coming in from all over the country, which is why a second mobile unit has already been completed.
Close cooperation with strong partners
Employees of the sister organization Lentes al Instante (LAI) Bolivia have trained the Colombian team in fitting the OneDollarGlasses and carrying out the eye tests.
Financial support comes from the international Rotary family. Strong local partners are the social foundation Fundasodher and the Barraquer Eye Clinic in Bogotá.