On 10 October, thousands of employees from EssilorLuxottica entities around the globe joined forces to raise awareness about the importance of good vision and to provide eye exams and eyeglasses to people who are most in need in communities where the Group operates.
Every year, World Sight Day (WSD) is observed on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on vision impairment and blindness. The most important advocacy event on the eye health calendar, WSD serves as an annual springboard to create greater awareness about the need to give the necessary attention to eye care.
With strong participation from the Group’s employees and partners, this year’s WSD initiatives proved to be a tremendous success through hundreds of initiatives across its global sites and cities.
Key highlights this year include:
- A global campaign on myopia led by Essilor International, with two main targets: parents, to check their children’s vision, and young adults. With 6.6 billion people on the planet estimated to be in need of vision correction by 2050, of which 5 billion will be affected by the myopia epidemic, taking action without delay is key. The objective of the campaign was to drive awareness around this epidemic and encourage people to check their vision regularly. The campaign website putvisionfirst.com, available in 11 languages, features screening tests suitable for mobile devices as well as information and tips around myopia.
- In Europe, Essilor celebrated World Sight Day with the Time for Vision Run in Poland. At this annual charity event, Essilor tested the eyesight of hundreds of adults and children and gave advice on how to take care of vision at all ages. The event was attended by employees of the group as well as their friends and families who became good vision ambassadors. Nearly 1,800 adults and children participated at the event, and is equivalent to the number of glasses the Group will be giving out to the SOS Children's Villages Association.
- In Brazil, Essilor partnered with football club Flamengo, a local popular team with over 40 million supporters. Working with Essilor’s ophthalmologists, eyeglasses, including lenses and frames, were donated to young trainees of Flamengo club. Most of them come from poor families with no resources to pay for vision correction.
- In India, Essilor's inclusive business 2.5 NVG partnered with, NDTV, a Hindi news channel and international charity group SightSavers, on World Sight Day. The objective was to create awareness around eye care through TV panel discussions, eye care documentaries and interviews.
- At the same time, In Italy, Luxottica together with global vision care non-profit, OneSight, renewed its commitment with vision care initiatives. Similar to last year, Luxottica employees provided support by setting up free clinics in Milan, from 7 to 18 October, in a Welcome House. The purpose of the initiative is to reach people with limited or no access to vision correction services. Due to last year’s outstanding turnout, the number of days dedicated to children and young adults this year were increased.
- In the United States, Pearle Vision and OneSight launched the ABSee program to provide quality eye care for school-age children. During twelve months, volunteers and optometrists will perform eye tests and eye exams on a state-of-the-art mobile clinic from Atlanta to Seattle to Puerto Rico to Toronto. A OneSight clinic was also set up in Kansas City. In Texas, in collaboration with Essilor of America and Essilor Vision Foundation, 355 students received vision care and glasses. Other fund raising activities were organized in Singapore and Australia, such as charity auctions and vision tests for employees.
Beyond World Sight Day, EssilorLuxottica acts on many levels every day of the year to elevate awareness on the importance of vision correction and vision protection, educating policy makers and consumers with dedicated campaigns but also supporting expert-to-expert knowledge sharing on vision science and patient needs. EssilorLuxottica supports the Vision Impact Institute whose mission is to make good vision a global priority and several other non-profit organizations such as OneSight and Essilor Vision Foundation whose focus is on providing free eye exams and eyeglasses to the people most in need, throughout the year.