​Girl with OneDollarGlasses | ©Barbara DeCarlo

Ethiopia: More than 80 languages

With over 110 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world. In the multinational state in which over 80 different languages are spoken, the majority of people live from agriculture.

At the end of 2013, OneDollarGlasses trained employees of the ENAT hospital in Alem Katema in cooperation with the association “Partnership with Alem Katema e.V.” in the manufacture of OneDollarGlasses and the performance of eye tests. Alem Katema is a small town in the Amhara region. Thanks to the joint commitment, the entire ophthalmological care in the ENAT hospital has made considerable progress.

Landscape at the Jemma trench, Amhara region | © Rosina Kefer-Lüdeke

Production of glasses | © Helmut Schmidt

Training | © Helmut Schmidt

Eye camps and education

Since then, eye camps and awareness campaigns have been carried out in Alem Katema. It is very important to educate the local population because people who wear glasses are often stigmatized as disabled and there is often a lack of awareness of uncorrected ametropia.

Theoretical training of clinic staff | © Helmut Schmidt

Training in ophthalmology

In the meantime, one of our first eyewear manufacturers was able to successfully complete his bachelor’s degree in ophthalmology after more than three years of training. This means that eye diseases can now also be treated at the ENAT Hospital.

Mengistu Feleke examines a patient | © Jo Neunert

“Without the glasses, I didn’t know if there was a man or a woman in front of me.”

63-year-old Amado Yameogoia (-7 diopters), Burkina Faso