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This is the TOMS One For One model. It started with footwear, but soon TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie was asking himself “What’s next?”
“In 2007, after giving away 10,000 pairs of shoes, I realised the One for One model was working, but what I also saw was a lot more needs that weren’t being met,” Blake says. “I realised that the One for One model could help address these needs.”
“When I thought about launching another product with the TOMS model, vision seemed the most obvious choice,” he says.
Most blindness is treatable
The World Health Organisation estimates there are 285 million people that are blind or visually impaired. 80% don’t have to be. The majority of eye conditions in the developing world are curable or treatable - 228 million people could see again if only they had access to the right treatment.
Since 2011, TOMS Eyewear has been working with local nonprofits and NGOs to restore sight to 445,000 people through surgery or prescriptions lenses. Restored vision allows patients to reclaim their independence and return to normal life.
The Kathmandu connection
Nepal is the region that inspired our brand so we’re particularly excited about the work that TOMS is doing there. In Nepal, TOMS works with Seva, who delivers essential eye care services to Nepal’s most vulnerable populations in 21 of the country’s 75 districts. Since the launch of the partnership in 2011, TOMS and Seva Nepal have restored sight to almost 75,000 individuals.
Dr Salma’s story
Pediatric ophthalmologist Dr Salma KC Rai grew up in a remote village of Nepal. In her village, it was more common for boys to go to school, but Salma’s father wanted her to escape poverty. He wanted her to become a doctor. So he took her to India where she studied ophthalmology.
“When I completed my residency and became a full fledged ophthalmologist, I took a surgical team to my village where I was born. Since it was a dream of my dad, and my grandfather also, I thought I should do something for the village. We organised a surgical camp where we operated on about 50 patients. One of the patients was my own grandma.”
“When I go back to my village, I think my family is proud to see me as a doctor. And that inspires the other young generation who are still in schools.”
“I have a dream that no child should go blind and I think that with TOMS and SEVA’s help, I think that problem is going to resolve.”
“With TOMS Eyewear, we are able to give someone the opportunity to wear a pair of shades, knowing that there’s a much greater purpose.”