Visualiza is the main Vision for the Poor Eye Clinic in Guatemala that serves as a successful model for duplication of sustainable eye clinics throughout Latin America and Haiti.

History

Vision for the Poor began as the Pennsylvania chapter of VOSH, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, in 1990, and was founded by optometrists, Dave McPhillips and Jack Hauler. VOSH/PA, a group eye doctors and lay people from the USA, initially focused on delivering short-term eye care to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1995 we met Vincent Pescatore, an inspirational American missionary in El Peten, Guatemala who encouraged us to build the region's first eye clinic. We accepted his invitation and quickly learned that the best use of our resources, time and talent was not in short-term mission trips but by building eye care facilities that provide the poor with permanent access to eye care. As our mission evolved, we changed our name to Vision for the Poor in 2008 to better reflect our mission.

With the assistance of the our strategic partner, The International Eye Foundation, and the leadership of skilled Guatemalan eye doctors, Drs. Mariano Yee, Nico Yee, Kimberly Wiedman-Yee and Antonio Hernandez, the first network of sustainable eye clinics was established in Guatemala in 2001, and it now serves as a model for future development in other countries.

It is our mission ...

... to reduce human suffering and improve quality of life through the recovery of sight by building sustainable eye hospitals in developing countries, empowering local eye specialists, funding essential ophthalmic infrastructure and establishing partnerships with like-minded agencies.

VISION 2020 ~ The Right to Sight

Vision for the Poor cooperates with a worldwide program known as VISION 2020 – The Right to Sight. VISION 2020: The Right to Sight is a global joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), with its international coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), professional associations, eye care institutions and corporations. VISION 2020 aims to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide by the year 2020, in order to give everyone in the world "the Right to Sight."

Board of Directors

  • Executive Director:
    Douglas Villella, OD
    Optometrist, Business Owner
    Erie, PA

  • Linda Boss
    Optician, Business Owner
    Pittsburgh, PA

  • Christian Wurst
    Business Owner
    Hatboro, PA

  • Mariano Yee, MD
    Ophthalmologist and Medical Director, Visualiza
    Guatemala

Partners

 

Vision for the Poor Executive Director receives Archbishop Oscar Romero Award

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Vision for the Poor 2017 Humanitarian Award Winner:

Frank B. Villa II OD

For extraordinary support to bringing the gift of sight to the people of Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico.