There are currently 285 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired. However, 80% of cases are preventable. According to the World Health Organization, 90% of those with a visual impairment live in low- and middle-income countries. This is due to these countries having limited access to high-quality eye care services.
Given this situation, and to align with the activities implemented by the L’OCCITANE brand, the Foundation supports international NGO projects combatting avoidable blindness. Projects funded contribute to providing high-quality eye care services through the UNION FOR VISION 10by20 programme. As a result, since 2000, over 8,000,000 people have benefited from international eye care, especially in developing countries.
« UNION FOR VISION 10by20 » programme
This programme brings together all L’OCCITANE’s international initiatives to combat avoidable blindness. It has a new goal: to give 10 million people access to eye care services by 2020.
The programme involves various partnerships with NGOs and supports screening, treatment, and eye surgery projects as well as funding equipment and training for medical teams.
In 2017, the L’OCCITANE Foundation embarked on a major international partnership with UNICEF. The three-year partnership guarantees a minimum of one million euros a year, aiming to help prevent childhood blindness in Bolivia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea by developing vitamin A supplementation programmes: an essential vitamin for children’s immune systems. In 2020, the L'OCCITANE Foundation renewed this partnership with UNICEF for another three years and extended it internationally.
For several years, the Foundation has also supported the work combatting avoidable blindness undertaken by the NGOs Light for the World and Sightsavers in Burkina Faso. This includes training ophthalmologists and medical staff, improving access to high-quality eye care services in rural areas, and helping eradicate two diseases in the Cascades region.
Company subsidiaries also play a crucial role in achieving this goal. Every year, they are involved in over thirty projects in partnership with charities in the countries where they are based. These projects combatting avoidable blindness are jointly funded by the subsidiaries and the L’OCCITANE Foundation.
Finally, to involve consumers in its charitable activity, L’OCCITANE en Provence has brought out a charity product every year since 2000, with profits* going towards combatting avoidable blindness. Over 950,000 euros were raised through sales of 2018’s charity soap.
*In-store retail price, excluding taxes and the costs of transportation and production
Call for projects 2020-2021
The L’OCCITANE Foundation launches a call for projects to fight avoidable blindness and encourages L’OCCITANE’s offices worldwide to participate by identifying and supporting local organizations with eye care projects. These projects are co-financed by L’OCCITANE’s local offices and by the foundation.