An eye clinic in Accra
GrandVision’s Danish business, Synoptik, has never seen itself as a mere optical retailer – they have always seen themselves as eye health experts that improve the quality of life of their customers. A good vision increases every person’s chances to achieve their full potential in life. Unfortunately, not everybody around the world has the same access and means to get high-quality eye care. And while our colleagues from Synoptik Denmark wanted to make a visible difference not only in their country, they decided to reach people in need outside of their own community and share with them their resources, experience and expertise.
The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of people with eyesight problems worldwide live in developing countries and are often unable to afford glasses or eye exams. In Ghana, it’s unthinkable to just walk into an optical store and get a pair of glasses – it’s simply not affordable for most of the population.
Therefore, more than 10 years ago Synoptik Denmark established a partnership with the Danish Blind Union and the Ghana Blind Union. Together they set up an eye clinic in Accra, Ghana, run by local eye health specialists and visited by a delegation from Synoptik Denmark once per year. Besides helping visitors in the clinic, the Danish delegation also shares knowhow and learns how to further improve their efforts. The collaboration has been running successfully ever since and already managed to change the lives of more than 50,000 Ghanaians.
“The glasses we have received from Synoptik Denmark have contributed a lot to support everybody in need – like school children that cannot read because of their vision impairment. The donated glasses have been of great help to them.” says Peter Korley, Chairman of Ghana Blind Union.
The charitable program Synoptik Denmark created consists of three pillars – collection, preparation and donation. Across their network of over 100 optical stores, they collect used glasses. And thanks to the commitment of our Danish customers – each year our colleagues manage to gather more than 10,000 pairs.
Ilona Sohoel, optician at Synoptik Denmark, already participated in nine charitable trips to Ghana. She shares: “Travelling to Ghana is one of the most motivating and engaging experiences in my career. It makes such a huge difference to see people there when they receive a pair of glasses. They are so happy. And while very often we don’t speak the same language – we can tell that the glasses fit by their smile – the bigger their smile becomes, the better they see. And it is such a rewarding moment – not only for them but also for me. It is great to be part of a company that creates these possibilities.”