We met a very interesting person Dr. Jordan Kassalow, Co-founder of VisionSpring.
Dr. Jordan Kassalow, a practicing optometrist who has dedicated his life to improving vision and economic opportunity in the developing world. Jordan’s work as an eye doctor and public health expert has taken him on scores of medical missions to countries all over the developing world. During these visits, in which he and other Western doctors provided eye care and free glasses to people who otherwise had little access to vision care, Jordan experienced two profound revelations:
First, Jordan realized that a large number of the patients he treated — over 40% — simply needed a pair of non-prescription eyeglasses, the kind found in drugstores all over the US. Yet the people he met were losing their jobs and their livelihoods simply because this affordable, mass-produced product was not available in their area.
Second, he noticed that, above all, people needed jobs. Without income, they could not access critical goods and services, such as water, health care, and education. Jordan began to wonder if in fact the Western eye doctors were providing a service that could easily be provided by the community members themselves if they were given the proper tools and skills.
What he does- VisionSpring empowers local entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses selling this powerful, affordable product in their communities. Each “Vision Entrepreneur” receives his or her own Business in a Bag, a sales kit containing all the products and materials needed to market and sell eyeglasses. Vision Entrepreneurs undergo a three-day training in basic eye care and business management and receive close, ongoing support from staff.
I highly recommend you visit his site and find out more about his organization. VisionSpring is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization recognized under section 501(C)3 and contributions are tax-deductible in the United States.