Bringing eye care to disadvantaged communities
GrandVision’s Swedish brand, Synoptik, has a long track record of helping to improve the quality of life in poorer or impoverished regions around the world through its charitable foundation Opticians Without Borders, and in collaboration with the Swedish aid organization Vision For All.
“Synoptik is one of our leading cooperating partners, who provides us with a substantial part of our annual need for used spectacles, collected from customers in their stores across Sweden,” says Lenuta Davidsson, President of Vision for All.
Since 2011, Opticians without Borders and Vision For All have fitted prescription glasses free of charge for people in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru and Guatemala. These second hand but fully functioning glasses, are donated by Synoptik’s customers and by the general public as part of a nation-wide campaign throughout their store network, taking place in Sweden each year. Over the past two years, the number of donated spectacles increased by 70%, resulting in more than 80,000 donated spectacles in 2016.
“Our optometrists use very simple methods, but our work really does change peoples’ lives,” says Synoptik Marketing Director, Lottie Funck Ekelund. “The availability of optometrists and the financial resources are very limited in rural areas, and that is where we can make the biggest difference.”
In the future, Synoptik is planning to continue helping people in need by:
- Providing free eye examinations
- Engaging more local optometrists to work along with them
- Training local village leaders and teachers to screen the eyesight of children
- Supporting optometry education programs by providing frames and used optical instruments
- Engaging with GrandVision’s other retail banners to collaborate on similar projects or share best practice