With a population of 21 million, Malawi in south-east Africa is one of the poorest countries in the world. Natural disasters hit the country regularly and are exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Especially in rural areas, people have no access to basic healthcare services.
vision tests carried out
Networks for good eyesight
In addition to the purely operational work, our program manager Marc Zedler and his team succeeded impressively in 2022 in continuously expanding relationships with political bodies, other NGOs and stakeholders in the field of eye health. After all, these networks are crucial for effective work: only those who are visible at a political and social level and have a clear voice, have a chance of achieving their goals. The team has gained so much trust that they are now working with other NGOs and government agencies to develop strategies to improve the eye health of people in Malawi.
Our work in Malawi
Third site in the north
In initial campaigns with local partners, we have already been able to provide 646 people with defective vision in the sparsely populated north of Malawi with glasses. They urgently need help, but are very difficult to reach due to their geographical remoteness. Travel to these areas requires a great deal of logistical effort and is associated with high transportation costs. These circumstances deter many other aid organizations.
OneDollarGlasses for Malawi's schools
With our "GoodVision School" project, we are closing a gap in the healthcare system for schoolchildren not only in Malawi, but also in many other program countries. According to our estimates, around 15 percent of Malawian schoolchildren suffer from defective vision. Many of the Malawian teachers would actually need glasses, but cannot afford them or have no access to optical care. This has a massive impact on the quality of teaching.
Specially developed, child-friendly teaching materials are available for our educational campaigns in the run-up to the eye tests. In repeat visits, some of which are unannounced, we can check whether the children are coping with the glasses and are actually wearing them. In order to better assess the impact of our school project in Malawi, we have started an impact measurement study, as we did in Bolivia, in which the children are asked about their experiences with the glasses.
Charles is 17 years old and attends Ntchisi Secondary School in Malawi. In October 2022, we meet him there at an eye camp. He is delighted with his new glasses, which he desperately needs. Without his glasses, his eyes hurt and he couldn't read the writing on the blackboard properly: "My glasses are very important to me. I want to do well at school so that I can become a journalist later on."
"Our year 2022 was characterized by inflation rates of 30% and an acute shortage of petrol. Nevertheless, we were able to establish a firm place for ourselves in Malawi's ophthalmic optics system."