Everyone can help to reach our goals. You can help us by:   

Can I hand in my used spectacles?
The Optical Foundation nowadays only uses new frames, these are often out-dated models donated by opticians or suppliers. The lenses are ordered at a local factory in Ghana. A Ghanaian optician mounts the customized lenses into the frames and is compensated for this. By doing this we aim to stimulate the local employment and economy.

Why are we not using used frames?
We understand that many people would like to donate their own used glasses to charity because they think their frames are still in good shape. However especially the case with children spectacles, even though the frame might still look fine, if it has been worn for a long time, it�s structure would have probably undergone some substantial modifications. This may have caused metal fatigue and an increased risk of breakage. Mounting the lenses puts pressure on the frame and if it breaks, the customized lenses that were made to size, can no longer be used either.

Aside from this, research shows that only 7% of the tested second hand frames are suitable for re-use. This is a relatively low percentage that does not outweigh the high transport cost to Ghana. Not to mention the time involved in sorting though the second hand frames to determine which can be re-used. The same research shows that a 10 dollar contribution will achieve more than the donation of a pair of second hand spectacles.

All in all, it works out to be far more economical to send new frames to Ghana, which are stronger and allow the children will get a much longer use out of them.

Is there a way I can make some sort of contribution with my second hand glasses?
If you remove the lenses from the frame of your old spectacles and clean the frame, you can send it to the following address:

The Optical Foundation
De Deel 19
8102 KP Raalte
Nederland

We spray paint the glasses orange (Dutch national colour) and sell them at one of the flea markets on �Koningsdag� (Dutch King�s birthday celebrations) as fun orange novelties. The proceeds from these glasses is used by The Optical Foundation to provide prescription glasses for children in Ghana. So in essence, your old glasses will definitely be contributing to new glasses in Ghana.

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As an optician, how can I contribute to The Optical Foundation?
If you have any remaining stock of out-dated frames, you could donate these to The Optical Foundation.

As a distributor/supplier, how can I contribute to The Optical Foundation?
Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of glasses or optical materials and/or equipment, can donate overstocked or out-dated items to The Optical Foundation. The equipment, glasses and other materials are used for the screenings in Ghana.

New frames
How can I as individual, participate to The Optical Foundation?
The Optical Foundation is always looking for fundraisers. The success of all our projects is totally depends on whether there is adequate funding. Therefore fundraising is a very important task of the foundation. There are a variety of ways to raise money for The Optical Foundation. We can provide you with some suggestions on how to go about it, but you yourself might have some great, very creative and innovative ideas, which we are eager to hear about. As a fundraiser you are closely involved with our activities in the Netherlands and abroad, and you will see immediately get to see how the money you have raised is being used.

If you are interested in becoming a fundraiser, please contact us.

Roel
Would you like to volunteer with The Optical Foundation in Ghana in your field of optometry / orthoptics?
The Optical Foundation welcomes optometrists / orthoptists who would like to spend some time in Ghana working on our projects. Your efforts contribute to the sustainability and success of our projects.

It's really a win-win situation: You as optometrist / orthoptist contributing to the objectives of The Optical Foundation, will develop your skills on so many different levels with this opportunity of working in this totally different environment then what you may be used to.

For The Optical Foundation, your unique skills will both add to and enrich the project by improving the eye care in these undeveloped communities.

Are you not sure is working abroad is something for you?
On our website you can find the stories of previous volunteers, video�s and newsletters that will give you a little insight into our work in Ghana. The information provided will show you how immense the need is for eye care in developing countries and how by taking up the challenge, we are able to make quality eye care available mainly for children. We hope these stories will inspire you!

If you are interested in volunteering with The Optical Foundation in Ghana, please refer our vacancy page.

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