NEW YORK—VisionSping, founded in 2001 with the goal of reaching and providing affordable, quality eyeglasses worldwide to people who need them, has issued a report and announced several accomplishments for 2023. According to the report, in 2023 the group screened the vision of more than 2.6 million people and corrected the vision of nearly 1.9 million people with eyeglasses, representing 25 percent growth over 2022. This brings the group's cumulative impact since its founding to providing 12 million people with glasses and the potential to realize $2.6 billion in new income.

Performance in 2023 was driven by outstanding results in African markets, which grew 70 percent year-over-year. Additionally, in India, VisionSpring served 514 partners and doubled government contracts associated with the National Programme for the Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment.

Livelihoods in Focus (LIF) is the group’s strategic initiative to dramatically increase eyeglasses coverage rates—and associated productivity and income—in communities engaged in vision-intensive agriculture and artisan craft. In 2023, it expanded LIF in Assam, India for tea workers, and in Ashanti, Ghana for cocoa farmers. It also initiated new LIF programs in Karnataka, India for coffee workers and artisans, as well as in Uganda’s tea and vanilla growing districts. In total, the group brought livelihoods into focus for 209,000 people through LIF and set the stage for significant growth in 2024.

VisionSpring also deepened the market penetration of its longest running program, Reading Glasses for Improved Livelihoods (RGIL), which shifts the task of correcting blurry near vision to community providers. RGIL expanded with health entrepreneurs in Zambia, served new districts with community health workers in Uganda, and extended into a nationwide network of microfinance clients in Bangladesh. VisionSpring also replicated its See to be Safe program from India to Africa, launching in Nigeria and Zambia.

Finally, this year’s World Sight Day theme spotlighted eye health in the workplace, aligning well with VisionSpring’s programs. It allowed the group to celebrate the Clear Vision Workplace (CVW) Alliance milestone of screening the vision of half a million textile and garment workers since its inception in 2018.