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 CARING FOR SIGHT programme. As a result, since 2000, over 9,000,000 people have benefited from international eye care, especially in developing countries.
« CARING FOR SIGHT » programme
This programme brings together all L’OCCITANE’s international initiatives to combat avoidable blindness. Created in 2015, this programme was first baptized UNION FOR VISION 10by20 and set L’OCCITANE the goal of achieving 10,000,000 beneficiaries of eye care by 2020. Since 2020, this programme has now been renamed CARING FOR SIGHT and has set a new goal: to reach 15 million eye care beneficiaries worldwide by 2025. 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. This three-year partnership guaranted a minimum of one million euros a year and has improved the prevention of childhood blindness of more than 4 million children 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 to improve the prevention of childhood blindness of more than 3 million new children.
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 620,050 euros were raised through sales of 2019 and 2020’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.