Monday, May 27, 2013

VisionSpring Offers the Whole Package

For people living and working in a developing countries, it is often difficult to establish a steady income to support themselves as well as their families. The ability to obtain and keep work can be even more difficult if one's eyesight is diminishing. Thankfully, organizations such as VisionSpring exist to not only distribute glasses to those in need, but also empower locals to become small business owners at the same time. This two-pronged approach effectively eliminates the reliance on outside help overtime, and allows a community to thrive by creating business for its members.

VisionSpring employs a classic Hub-and-Spoke approach in which optical shops function as "hubs", and the trained vision entrepreneurs who run these shops act as "spokes"who conduct outreach within their communities surrounding the newly created business.

By training locals to be the spokes in this operation, VisionSpring can focus on the big picture of the mission and allow the very community they are helping become a huge part of a lasting solution. It all goes back to the old "teach a man to fish" mentality - and how, realistically if you are focused on just providing a quick fix, in this case eyeglasses, you are not helping in the long term creation of a community that can sustain itself over time.

Thanks, VisionSpring. You not only caught a lot of fish - you taught a lot how to fish as well, and that's where change and growth really occurs in the grand scheme of things.

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