HOYA partners organisations such as Boys’ Town to promote eye-care services, increase eye-health literacy, and improve myopia control.

HOYA, a global eyecare brand, is set to provide fitted eyewear to underprivileged children across Singapore in the coming weeks. The move follows a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign during the November-December 2022 school holidays, where the company screened 158 underprivileged children living in five children’s homes and two family services centers across the country.

Children from Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, Boys’ Town Residential Care, Epworth HomeSweetHome, Melrose Home, Pertapis Children’s Home, and family service centers Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society and Filos Community Services were given dedicated and personal vision care by the staff of HOYA Lens (S) Pte Ltd and supported by the staff and students of the Work-Study Diploma in Opticianry programme at the Institute of Technical Education’s ITE College East campus.

Of these children, 106 were assessed as requiring correction for myopia by qualified professionals or under the watchful guidance of ITE instructors. They are being fitted with the appropriate lenses, which include HOYA’s MiYOSMART Lenses, an award-winning spectacle lens using clinically proven D.I.M.S. technology to manage myopia progression.

“It’s in line with one of the key purposes that we have, one of the star products that we have, and in one of the solutions we’re trying to develop to help children,” said Montague Alexandre, CEO of HOYA Vision Care. “Reducing myopia progression is very important because the more myopic you become, the higher the chances of having eye-related disorders and diseases in the later stages of your life.”

“It’s also very motivating for our colleagues, our employees, because it’s a practical example of the purpose of our company, to help people see well,” said Serge Zins, Head of Asia Pacific for HOYA Vision Care.

Unlike other programmes, HOYA’s initiative is unique because instead of having the children visit an external location for their eye screening, the HOYA team made specific and personalized arrangements with each participating home and centre to bring a full suite of equipment and sample spectacle frames to them.

“Currently only 7 out of 19 homes in Singapore are participating in this program, so there are more homes for us to go and more children for us to help,” said Daphne Soo, who is part of the HOYA team responsible for planning and executing this meaningful outreach to the underprivileged children in Singapore. “Better eye health will, in turn, lead to better learning and being more confident.”

For the volunteers, the giving has inadvertently turned into discovering about underprivileged children in Singapore.

“There was one kid (whose) degree is very high, and he doesn’t have glasses. Two other kids, one boy and one girl, with 400 degrees, were also without glasses. It’s very surprising to see this kind of case even now in Singapore, but that is what makes me feel like we gave something meaningful to them,” said Jonathan Lim, Assistant Sales Manager and Optometrist with HOYA.

For the children, this gift is not only beneficial to their long-term vision but also tells them that there are people who care.

“Volunteers, whether corporate or individuals, play a large part in helping the children grow. They complement the work that we do and reinforce the notion that the children are loved and cared for, so having volunteers like HOYA being involved in the children’s lives reminds them that they are special, and people actually do care about them,” said Shalene Khanisen, Senior Case Executive, Team Lead at Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home.

Echoing her agreement is Uma Magalingam, Senior Executive, Youth Programme Development, Residential Services at Boys’ Town.

“When they do have people coming in to tell them, ‘We are here to help you, we’re here to support you, to give you that benefit’, they will have this sense of, ‘There is someone who cares.’ We run many different services in Boys’ Town, so it boils down to the support from partners like HOYA to help make this work. It really takes a village to raise a child,” Uma concluded.

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