World Sight Day Special! CEO of VisionSpring, Ella Gudwin, announces a $15M gift from MacKenzie Scott and talks about their work helping people in low-income countries access eye glasses.
MacKenzie Scott’s donation to VisionSpring is the largest single private donation helping to tackle the challenge of uncorrected blurry vision in the developing world.
We look at VisionSpring's work and learn about the low levels of access to corrective eye glasses in the developing world and low-income segments.
Ella Gudwin remarks: the market for eye glasses is broken. It’s a 700-year-old technology; it has failed to disperse to the low income segment.
Uncorrected blurry vision isn’t simply a health issue; it’s also an economic issue. Much of VisionSpring’s advocacy has been focused on raising awareness and quantifying the economic cost to national governments derived from workers who are unable to perform to full capacity due to their inability to see clearly. This is a problem that impacts farmers, commercial truck drivers, artisans and many others.
We learn the key stats underpinning the arguments for supporting this thematic area and hear of the alliance of diverse stakeholder organisations that have come together to advocate with one voice to ensure the United Nations and national governments across the globe address and tackle this problem.
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About Ella Gudwin
Ella Gudwin is CEO of VisionSpring and under her leadership the company has tripled its impact.
Before joining VisionSpring in 2015, Ella was Senior VP of strategy and program development at the global health organization AmeriCares. In prior roles, Ella led humanitarian operations as VP of emergency response, and managed access to medicine and health care capacity building programs in ten countries as Director of Asia and Eurasia partnerships.
Earlier in her career, Ella served as the Head of Foreign Government Relations at the Population Council, focused on reproductive health, youth, and poverty.
Her passions for social justice and economic development issues took root in Indonesia during the Asian financial crisis and the ensuing people power revolution.