The objectives of The Optical Foundation can be divided into screening, education and research

Screening:

  • Make eye care accessible to everyone in Ghana, especially for children. We want to reach this by providing spectacles for children who need them and by referring children to an ophthalmologist or the eye clinic at the University of Cape Coast as the need arises.
  • Stimulate the local economy by buying the frames and lenses, as well as having the glasses prepared.
  • Ensuring the availability of enough equipment for the university for both the eye screening as well as educational purposes.
  • Stimulate local initiatives by allowing Ghanaian (student) optometrists to organise screenings in collaborating with the foundation “Tomorrow Stars” and the “World Eye Foundation.”

Education:

  • Provide Ghanaian optometry students of the University of Cape Coast with training to become eye specialist in their own country, by letting them perform eye tests under supervision at primary schools, orphanages and other communities.
  • Empowerment of women, to break the cycle of gender bias.
  • Train Ghanaian optometrists to become project leaders, with the ultimate goal of becoming self-sufficient.
  • Ensure lectures are giving and supervision is provided at the optometry clinic of the University of Cape Coast

Research:

  • Establish scientific research projects in Ghana.
  • Organise International professors to visit Ghana to give lectures aimed at inspiring and motivating (student) optometrists.
  • Help junior optometry teachers apply for travel grants to attend international conferences.

 Long-term goal:

  • Expand the project to other regions in Ghana and eventually to other African countries, specifically with the assistance of locally trained.
Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals

Through the work of The Optical Foundation, a contribution is being made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals 'Universal Education' and 'Gender Equality'.

'Universal Education':
The Optical Foundation focuses specifically on children, as any untreated eye disease/disorder can greatly impact their educational development and early detection can prevent illiteracy. Good vision means that children have a chance to keep up at school, perform better and thus go to school.
For example: A girl with an eye disorder of -9 was infrequent at school and had to repeat a year number of times, with spectacles provided by The Optical Foundation she can see well again and participate in class.

‘Gender Equality’:
The Optical Foundation has put together an all female student screening team, with the emphasise on empowerment of women, the aim is to break the gender bias cycle.
For example: Previously it was only the male optometry students who actually conducted eye tests, women were only allowed to do support tasks. By setting up special screening teams that only consisted of women, the female students are now also got taught how to perform eye tests.