LONDON and NEW YORK—Among eyecare professionals, optical retailers, NGOs, a range of product creators, suppliers and advocates from within the global eyecare field, plans are coming together this month for turning a brighter spotlight towards 2023’s World Sight Day, Oct. 12, an event designed to draw attention, raise funds, provide access to care and solutions for millions to better experience and understand the value of healthy vision. Led by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in conjunction with the efforts of hundreds of organizations, international and local companies, health care teams and private individuals, World Sight Day will emphasize the importance of prioritizing eyecare in the workplace with the theme #LoveYourEyes at Work. The 2023 theme has already garnered support from IAPB’s vast global network and among other groups as well, as the eyecare sector heads toward the global awareness day this Thursday.

In addition to the work done all year emphasizing access to vision care as a basic human right, the IAPB’s efforts is focusing on emphasizing prioritizing eyecare in terms of employee productivity and safety. People from farms to factory floors, from taxi ranks to tech start-ups, will be following the lead of IAPB and its network of eye health organizations around the world to focus on how everyone can play a part in making eyecare a priority in the workplace. “We know that the world is a safer, more productive place when eye health is prioritized. The research paints a clear picture of the impact eyecare has on the workforce," said Peter Holland, CEO, IAPB.

World Sight Day has many opportunities to get involved. At VMAIL’s press time, some six million pledges were counted by IAPB as the world works towards the collective goal of 10 million pledges to #LoveYourEyes in the days leading up to Oct. 12, 2023.

In addition, IAPB is calling on amateur and professional photographers to share their work that best represents how eyecare has a positive impact by participating in the 8th Annual World Sight Day Photo Competition. That competition is accepting entries until Oct. 20. Details about this are posted here.

An extensive range of toolkits, images and information resources for anyone who wants to support the goals of this year’s World Sight Day are also posted on the IAPB’s website here.

From its base in Golden, Colo., Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) has announced a $500,000 fundraising goal for its 2023 World Sight Day Challenge. Donations will fuel the organization’s efforts to help eradicate uncorrected refractive error through the growth and expansion of optometry around the world. The theme of this year’s World Sight Day Challenge is “Giving Together, Seeing Forever,” which celebrates the collective power of the industry to give the gift of sight to millions of people in need. Although World Sight Day takes place on Oct.12, the Challenge—the organization’s largest annual fundraiser—officially continues through the end of October.

“There is still plenty of time to join the World Sight Day Challenge and contribute to meeting our goal,” said Lois Schoenbrun, executive director, Optometry Giving Sight. “Every dollar donated allows us to fund sustainable initiatives that provide life-changing eye care to people, families, and communities around the world. OGS is ‘optometry’s charity’—eyecare professionals truly understand the impact of sight because they witness it in their practices every day. Our work is only possible with your support.”

There are several ways to support OGS during the World Sight Day Challenge. One-time or recurring donations can be made at any time at Those interested in leading fundraising at their practice or company can register at to receive a toolkit with ideas and resources.

Since 2003, OGS funding has provided basic eyecare services to more than 8 million people, assisted with training more than 14,000 eye care personnel, established more than 130 vision centers, and served people in more than 40 countries. In the last two years alone, OGS has provided funding to more than 30 project partners around the world, totaling more than $1.5 million in grants.

The OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation pursues its mission in many ways to help the 2.7 billion people around the world with uncorrected poor vision. This World Sight Day, the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation will be reaffirming its belief that good vision is a basic human right, through its “The Right To See” campaign. The Foundation will be executing World Sight Day programs across the globe, including vision exams, screenings, fundraising activities and the establishment of new partnerships, with the ambition of improving vision care access for all. The Foundation’s North America team will be hosting charitable vision clinics and screenings in cities across the United States, including Philadelphia, Pa; Kansas City, Mo; Dallas, Tex. And Cincinnati, Oh., as well as leading vision care outreach programs for seniors in need across Canada in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

“We believe that all people should be afforded clear and protected sight, and World Sight Day is an important annual moment when this focus is highlighted on a global stage,” said Becky Palm, executive director, OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation North America. “We owe so much gratitude to our generous partners, dedicated volunteers and countless global supporters who help us expand vision care access not only on World Sight Day, but every day throughout the year. Every minute in 2022, our global Foundation provided 20 people in need with the life-changing benefits of clear sight."

Anurag Hans is the head of mission for EssilorLuxottica and president of the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation. In New York City recently during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Hans participated in the Devex @ UNGA78 and Foreign Policy Health Forum events which brought together government, and business and NGO leaders, vision care health experts and academia to discuss critical issues shaping the world. Health care, and by that extension, vision care, was a priority agenda item for speakers and attendees alike he noted. During the Devex event, Hans sat on a panel with Dr. Bente Mikkelsen from the World Health Organization to discuss the SPECS strategy, a game-changing approach that aims to tackle the global lack of access to spectacles, while providing high-quality vision care services to those in need.

By making spectacles and vision care services more accessible, the WHO SPECS strategy—partnered with an aligned sector—has the potential to improve educational outcomes, boost workforce productivity, and enhance overall quality of life for millions of people.

Also, this week on World Sight Day, RestoringVision, marking its 20th anniversary this year, is engaging its partners and donors to help millions of people around the world love their eyes by increasing awareness and equitable access to vision screenings and reading glasses, as 826 million people living in extreme poverty are struggling with presbyopia, near vision loss that occurs as a natural part of the aging process.

Seamstresses, tailors, farmers, and hundreds of millions of people do not have access to reading glasses that would greatly improve their ability to see, work productively, sustain their livelihoods, learn, and care for their families. “This year, we are focusing on raising awareness around the global vision crisis impacting over 1 billion people, and the fact that 81 percent of the issue area is solvable with reading glasses,” said Pelin Munis, PhD., CEO, RestoringVision. “Solving presbyopia on a global scale supports people in need because it is a cost-effective strategy to help people get back into the workforce and increase sustained livelihoods, it accelerates progress in solving the global vision crisis.” In conjunction with IAPB’s #LoveYourEyes campaign, Restoring Vision has pledged one million vision screenings and eyeglasses for the time period between July and October 2023 towards IAPB’s goal of reaching 10 million pledges of impact this year thus far. RestoringVision will reach 4 million people in 2023 alone.

CooperVision teams and employees around the world have been organizing fundraising activities for Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge.

For example, the company’s R&D team based in Pleasanton, Calif., hosted a “Strikes for Sight” bowling event last week, during which CooperVision employees pledged to make donations ranging from $0.25 to $1 per strike. Ultimately, 102 strikes were bowled in the two-hour period, with each employee donating between $25.50 and $102.

As a Global Patron of IAPB, CooperVision joined forces with IAPB leaders at the United Nations headquarters to provide vision screenings for children in Ghana. Their joint efforts will be showcased in the UN Photo Exhibition in support of World Sight Day.

HCP (Himalayan Cataract Project) Cure Blindness is shining a light on avoidable blindness—the 338 million people who are blind or suffer from moderate-to-severe vision impairment—and HCP’s work globally to help individuals in developing countries retain and regain their sight. Among its key accomplishments, HCP-supported partners in the last year conducted more than 1.25 million eye screenings and basic treatment and performed more than 128,000 sight-restoring surgeries throughout South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This brings the group’s total impact (with partners) to 14.5 million eye screenings and basic treatment and more than 1.4 million sight-restoring surgeries since 1995. In 2022, HCP made further progress to construct specialty eye hospitals in Ghana and Ethiopia, held 44 training events to enhance eyecare capability with local providers, and provided more than $2.79 million in equipment for local partners to ensure the highest quality of eyecare. Throughout the year HCP collaborated with partners in Ethiopia, where they strengthened in-country partnerships to empower local leadership and enable long-term access to care. Tanzania, HCP partnered with Helen Keller Intl. to pair cataract screenings with trachomatous trichiasis treatment in a collaborative surgical outreach and training event. In the Philippines, the organization began a long-term initiative with SEE International to deliver sight-restoring surgeries to remote island communities.

For World Sight Day, HCP Cureblindness is conducting nearly a quarter of a million eye screenings in their core countries (Nepal, Bhutan, India, Ethiopia and Ghana) to contribute to IAPB's global goal of 10 million screenings by World Sight Day. Said K-T Overbey, HCP’s CEO. “For more than 25 years, HCP has worked alongside a capable network of collaborators to help people globally retain and regain their sight by developing high-quality, cost-effective eye care systems in underserved areas of the world.” HCP has also trained more than 19,500 eye health professionals and established five eye hospitals.

The Vision Catalyst Fund is another group collaborating to create change. VCF is a partnership of the OneSight Essilor Luxottica Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank and Eyelliance. Planned is a World Sight Day Commemoration with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu in attendance on Oct. 12 in Abuja, Nigeria, The National Eye Health Programme (NEHP) of the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is commemorating World Sight Day and the event is a call to action supported by the 2023 declaration of the International Labour Organization to ensure access to eyecare services, reduce risks to eyesight in the workplace, and promote good eye health for all workers in their lifetime. The highlight of the event will be the unveiling of the National Eye Health Strategic Development Plan and policy documents.

VMAIL will continue to monitor many more World Sight Day ceremonies, fundraisers and participation in advance of this year’s events later this week.