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February is the IRIS Mundial month for a fourteenth year

IRIS Mundial is proud to announce that, for a fourteenth year, the organization will benefit from an annual fundraising campaign organized by IRIS, The Visual Group, its main partner. Founded in 2001 by Dr. Jean-Pierre Tchang, Optometrist, the organization aims to improve the visual health of disadvantaged people in developing countries giving them access to ophthalmic services.

The campaign will be held throughout the month of February in IRIS stores across Canada. For each pair of glasses sold during the month, $10 will be donated to the organization. The IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic also agreed to donate $25 per eye surgery performed. IRIS Mundial also appeals to the public by giving them the chance to give a second life to their glasses; IRIS stores will give every pair of used glassed they receive from the public to IRIS Mundial. These efforts will enable disadvantaged individuals to obtain eye exams, eyeglasses and ocular surgeries. Since 2008, IRIS stores, with the participation of the IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic, have donated more than $1,126,490 to IRIS Mundial, including $81,670 in 2020. The goal for 2021 is to reach $85,000.

“Thanks to the constant support of the public and IRIS The Visual Group, we can continue to offer quality visual care to the most disadvantaged through our projects. Thank you so much for helping to change their lives!”, says Johanne de Champlain, chairwoman of IRIS Mundial.

The donations collected to date have resulted in the establishment of two Programs for the Prevention and Fight against Blindness (PPFB) in Labrousse and Limbe in Haiti. This initiative has provided nearly 34,500 adults and children access to a quality eye care system from 2010 to 2018. A new program was launched in January 2019 in Saint-Louis in Senegal, thanks to the funding provided by the Quebec International Development Program (PQDI) of the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie (MRIF) of Quebec. IRIS Mundial has contributed to the construction of the community ophthalmology center, has provided the equipment needed for its operation and has trained the employees at three training missions and recently through online training.

In addition to its three permanent programs, IRIS Mundial has completed 24 one-time projects around the world. Typically, some 30 Canadian volunteers (optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists and others) participate in these one-time projects and work with local professionals to provide visual care to 2,000 people. The purpose of these projects is to

identify the most common oculovisual problems, as well as to assess the needs and also the possibility of implementing a permanent program at these sites in the future.

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), 75% of visual impairments throughout the world are avoidable with access to glasses or surgeries and that 89% of visually impaired people live in developing countries.

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