With millions of people in the developing world unable to access appropriate prescription glasses, the Lions Club is helping both children and adults to see clearly by sending out unused and unwanted spectacles to those in need. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that more than 150 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism) and most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses.
The Lions of District 133 Ireland collect and recycle thousands of pairs of spectacles each year for distribution to the Third World. The lenses are most important and if the frames are intact that is an added bonus. Broken, unbroken, clear, or tinted glasses for adults and children are accepted. Prescription sunglasses are also recycled. Cases are not required.
Spectacles collected by the Lions Clubs of District 133 Ireland are then transported to Medico Lions Clubs de France in Le Havre for sorting and grading before being shipped to those in need.
As part of this global project, Wexford Lions Club has partnered with Specsavers Wexford, where a recycling container has been installed. President of Wexford Lions Club, Michael Phelan said, “The Wexford Lions Club has sight as one of its main projects going back to the beginning of the inception of the organisation with the development of the White stick. This is a great cause and the old glasses will be recycled to developing countries. This also fits with our goals of reducing our carbon footprint.”
Specsavers Wexford's Director of Retail, Mags Cregan-Smart said that she and the team were delighted to support the initiative. “We recycled glasses in the years before Covid-19 and are delighted to offer this service in association with Wexford Lions Club.”