Special-edition, Congolese-inspired TOMS Shoes
We're teaming up with Giving Partner Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy and grant-making organization founded by Ben Affleck, on two Congolese-inspired designs with an additional give. Read More >>
TOMS x charity: water - An Eyewer collaboration
TOMS and charity: water, an organization founded in 2006 (like TOMS!) that’s dedicated to to helping bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, join forces for the first-ever TOMS Eyewear collab! Read More >>
Giving TOMS Shoes in the DRC
Founded by Ben Affleck in 2010, ECI is an advocacy and grant-making organization that works with and for the people of DRC, the third most populous country in Africa, and one that struggled under a cycle of violence for nearly 20 years – particularly in the east. Read More >>
Over the last six months, TOMS and our lead Sight Giving Partner, Seva Foundation, expanded Sight Giving efforts to 13 countries around the world. Four of those countries — Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt and Ethiopia — are in Africa, a continent where we’ve given shoes in multiple countries for more than six years.
With the opportunity to expand our joint Sight Giving efforts has come the chance to learn how eye care issues can vary based on location.
In Africa, through our local Sight Giving Partners (which are all affiliated with Seva), we have continued to help save and restore sight through medical treatment, surgeries and prescription lenses, but have tailored those services to treat eye diseases unique to the continent.
One of our newest learnings is of a disease called trachoma. Trachoma is an eye infection caused by bacteria; it results in an irritation and discharge from the eyes in the early stages followed by marked light sensitivity, blurred vision, pain and blindness in the later stages of the disease .
The Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) — our local Sight Giving Partner in Tanzania — has taught our Giving team about some of the largest difficulties associated with trachoma:
-It is a disease that affects those in extreme poverty, often in the most remote regions of Africa where poor sanitation and hygiene practices are common.
-It is notoriously difficult to treat, not because of the antibiotics, but because patients are difficult to reach and, in turn, to find.
-If left untreated, trachoma can lead to a more severe eye condition (called trichiasis) that can lead to blindness.
Supported by your TOMS Eyewear purchases, we’re helping our Giving Partners tackle the challenge to bring patients in need to the services that can help them. For trachoma specifically, we’re helping partners provide prescription antibiotics for treatment along with preventative eye health education.
Be sure to check back with us next week on the TOMS Blog as we delve deeper into the Sight Giving story in Africa.
Read about other conditions we help treat and how TOMS Eyewear is enabling us to do so: