LONDON—Eighteen months since its launch, the Vision Catalyst Fund (VCF), whose mission is to help a billion people to see by 2030, has announced new global ambassadors, board members, and a strategic partnership with EYElliance, the U.S. multi-sector coalition driving global and national strategies to accelerate equitable access to spectacles. The VCF and EYElliance are joining forces to amplify and expedite the delivery of EssilorLuxottica’s landmark in-kind lens donation to the Vision Catalyst Fund that will enable millions of children and adults in low-and-middle income countries to see clearly and realize their full potential, particularly focused on those who cannot afford to pay.

VMAIL first reported on that donation in April 2018. EssilorLuxottica is also providing technical guidance, supply chain assistance and in-country networks to help deliver the VCF’s mission and vision, the announcement noted. 
Founded in 2015, EYElliance has a wealth of experience orchestrating systems-level change and catalyzing the scale of proven models of eyeglasses delivery working with various partners. This expertise complements VCF’s goal of creating a platform developing innovative partnerships and financial instruments to bring vision to everyone everywhere within a generation.
In addition, the VCF has welcomed Hubert Sagnières, former vice chairman of EssilorLuxottica as a global ambassador. He, along with current ambassador, Dr. Andrew Bastawrous, will promote the need for good vision and help VCF connect with key stakeholders around the world. They will step down as board members to take up these roles. The VCF stated it "will be forever grateful for their significant contribution during the inception phase of the Fund and looks forward to their continued guidance and support."
The VCF board has also welcomed  four new members: Anurag Hans, head of mission for EssilorLuxottica; Chris Jurgens, a director at Omidyar Network; the co-founder and CEO of EYElliance, Liz Smith; and Jordan Kassalow, co-founder of EYElliance and founder of VisionSpring.
Chairman of the Vision Catalyst Fund, Jayanth Bhuvaraghan said, “I am very excited to welcome our new global ambassadors and board members to the VCF. The partnership with EYElliance is a significant milestone in our journey to bring good vision to everyone in the world. With such a strong and committed leadership team, I am confident the VCF will be able to help all our partners accelerate all their efforts to eradicate uncorrected poor vision from the world.”
Through the donation and broader support of EssilorLuxottica, the Vision Catalyst Fund has now granted more than a million pairs of lenses across over 11 countries. Commenting on this partnership, Hans, head of mission for EssilorLuxottica said, “We are delighted to see the partnership between EYElliance and the VCF. This will create synergies and greatly help in addressing the rising demand for glasses amongst the poorest communities around the world.”
The Vision Catalyst Fund was founded following the incredible success of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, set up to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and leaves a lasting legacy for the Commonwealth. The Trust’s work on avoidable blindness led by the VCF’s chief executive Dr. Astrid Bonfield together with Dr Andrew Bastawrous created the opportunity to bring together some of the leading actors in the vision field.
Support is provided by founding partners EssilorLuxottica, Standard Chartered Bank and The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and new supporters including The Indigo Trust, The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Open Road Alliance, Santen Pharmaceutical and research partner The International Centre for Eye Health at The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
The VCF will act as a hub for learning and data from these partnerships enabling other organizations, including governments, to leverage evidence in future program design.