Ver Bien para Aprender Mejor has been working in Mexican public schools for more than 21 years, doing screening for refractive errors and delivering eyeglasses to those children who need them. Optometry Giving Sight has been supporting their work for several years and that continues into 2020.
A large team of professional optometrists and teachers perform the screening of the whole population at schools that Ver Bien visits. They travel from Mexico City to states throughout the country. Local state authorities coordinate that that the eye care teams visit every single school in the territory.
Ver Bien establishes agreements with local governments to pay for 50% of the cost of the eyeglasses, with the remainder paid for by Ver Bien with private donations, like that of Optometry Giving Sight. Conditions at schools differ wildly as some can accommodate screenings, exams and dispensing of glasses in classrooms, while other situations exist in very poor conditions and are conducted outside.
The goal for Ver Bien in 2020 is to screen 1 million children in public schools in Mexico. They expect to provide over 300,000 pairs of glasses to children who suffer from a refractive error and other issues that can easily be corrected.
In more than 21 years, Ver Bien para Aprender Mejor has delivered more than 5.8 million glasses to children all over Mexico. This gives those students the same opportunities as those students who do not need glasses. Hundreds of thousands of these children have no access to eye health services as they live in very poor rural communities, where families don’t have the resources to pay for eyeglasses.
Correcting children’s vision problems helps to keep school dropouts to a minimum. Children who have left school are more susceptible to searching for an illegal income. For this reason, was included in the World Economic Forum paper “Eyeglasses for Global Development: Bridging the Visual Divide” as a case in point.
The eyeglasses that Ver Bien provides are produced by a Mexican manufacturer according to each child’s need. The children are able to select the frame of their choice from 30 combinations of colors and sizes. The student’s families do not have to pay for the eyeglasses or for the optical services.