According to the WHO, at least 2.2 billion people are affected by impaired vision or blindness, of which over a billion cases could have been avoided or remain untreated. Across the globe, more than a billion people are living with impaired vision because they aren't receiving the treatment they need for conditions such as short and far-sightedness, glaucoma or cataracts. Unfortunately those most affected include people living in rural areas or low-income situations. 
In Burkina Faso, as in most developing countries, blindness is a major public health issue. Children, particularly those living in rural areas, are somewhat overlooked by the few projects which deal with ocular health in the country. 


Supported Project

The L'OCCITANE Foundation supports NGO Helen Keller International's  "Project to prevent avoidable blindness in children aged 5 to 14 in the Ziniaré health district in Burkina Faso". 
The main objective of this project is to provide care for children that can identify and treat the main causes of blindness to which they are typically exposed. These include refractive errors, conjunctivitis and TELC (Tropical Endemic Limbo-Conjunctivitis).

Some Figures

The aim is to establish an unbroken chain between families, schools and health centres in the Ziniaré health district in order to prevent and tackle ocular health problems in children. 

2020 Budget 200,593 euros

2020 Goal 49,000 children

History of the Partnership

The project was launched in September 2019. The project has thus made it possible to train more than 300 health workers and school teachers in the area concerned. This training, as well as the provision of screening equipment for health workers, have reinforced the capacity to offer care and to detect any visual impairments in children earlier.

However, the partnership with the NGO Helen Keller International in the fight against preventable blindness in Burkina Faso dates back more than 7 years. In fact, the L’OCCITANE Foundation supported for 3 years (between 2012 and 2015) the actions of the NGO to fight against trachoma in the central west region. At that time, this disease was the second leading cause of blindness in the country. This collaboration has thus made it possible to train health workers and carry out awareness campaigns, screening and treatment of detected cases of trichiasis.

Total Budget 200,593 euros

Total Outcomes 19,969 beneficiaries

"My name is Bouda Deo Gracias (wearing the pink coat on the left) and I am 12 years old in a CM2 class of Zagbèga primary school, Ziniaré district. I could not see very well in class and I was examined in March 2020 as a pupil with poor seeing when health workers came to our school. in July 2020, during the second visit of health workers, the doctors gave me these corrective lenses that I wear proudly. This is why I took this picture with my friend (to my left) who, has no vision problem. Thanks to these corrective lenses, next year in high school, I will have no problem learning my lessons and I thank all the donors: Helen Keller International and the L'Occitane Foundation for this donation.” 

Bouda Deo Gracias, a beneficiary

Déo Gracias Bouda

“Before HKI’s intervention, we did not know that some of our pupils had eye problems. Thanks to this collaboration, some of them received products and treatments, and others received corrective glasses. Through this action, I think that these children will be able to continue their schooling properly. I would like to thank the entire HKI team for their involvement in our school."

Adjaratou Ouédraogo, Director of the Tigimtenga school, one of the beneficiary schools of the project.


Mme OUEDRAOGO Adjaratou