Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Scojo Foundation and Population Services International (PSI) have signed a five-year pan-Africa agreement to make reading glasses available to the millions of Africans who lack this simple, essential health product and tool for economic development. For most Africans living in poverty, reading glasses are unobtainable due to barriers of cost, access, and awareness. Without reading glasses, people who need to see up close to earn a living, such as weavers, farmers, electricians, and artisans, can lose their productivity and ability to support their families.
Leveraging Scojo Foundation’s expertise in designing high-quality, affordable reading glasses specifically for developing markets with PSI’s vast pharmaceutical distribution infrastructure and local marketing knowledge, the partnership will eventually make reading
glasses available in virtually all sub-Saharan African countries. The first batch of reading glasses is currently being integrated into PSI’s existing infrastructure in Zambia, Ethiopia, and Tanzania.
“This dynamic partnership will leverage PSI’s exceptional distribution and marketing capacity across Africa with Scojo Foundation’s depth of experience in the field of reading glasses. We look forward to working together to ensure that quality reading glasses are made available throughout Africa at affordable prices,” says Will Warshauer, PSI’s Executive Vice President for Strategy and Resources.
A fully sustainable endeavor, the initiative builds upon Scojo Foundation’s cost structure and PSI’s local knowledge of importation, marketing, and distribution to make affordable reading glasses available in urban pharmacies without the need for donor funding. Both
organizations were selected as winners of the 2007 Social Capitalist Awards by Fast Company magazine and the Monitor Group for combining creativity and ingenuity with business solutions to address social problems.
“Hundreds of thousands of Africans living in poverty will now have access to affordable reading glasses and regain their ability to work, creating a lasting, sustainable impact on the lives and health of some of the poorest communities in the world,” says Dr. Jordan Kassalow, Chairman and Co-Founder of Scojo Foundation.
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Source: Scojo Foundation News