India has the largest number of people with uncorrected vision, with over 500 million people needing vision correction, including 42% of the country’s workforce. A factor contributing to this trend is the lack of availability of qualified human resources especially, in rural areas.
Co-financed by DEG and Essilor Private Limited and implemented by ASSIST, Eye Mitra aimed to provide quality vision correction services at affordable prices for underprivileged rural people in India. The project also facilitated successful candidates to set up small businesses on their own to offer vision care services to rural communities at an affordable price. These micro-entrepreneurs were recognized as Eye Mitra Opticians (EMOs). The project also enabled rural households to access vision care and good quality spectacles (for those who need them) at affordable prices. Thus, the rural youth hitherto unemployed will get her / his livelihood through a more respectable self-employment. With the growth in business, she/he would further employ other rural youth at their own store as supporting hands thereby, creating a replication for self-employment generation in rural areas.
With Eye Mitra, five training centers were set up; 350 youth were skilled and 220 Eye Mitras were qualified; 150 Eye Mitra shops were opened sustaining more than 100 new jobs earning USD 600 per month per EMO; and more than 8000 people’s vision was corrected effectively.
Adolescence is a critical time when the youth are interested in important issues such as reproductive health. However, engaging with them has proved to be a challenge for healthcare workers. ADEPT aims to bridge this communication gap by providing healthcare service providers in four key cities in the Visayas with an e-learning toolkit that they can access at their convenience. The one-year initiative equips healthcare workers to provide the youth with information on reproductive services available for them thus, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and welfare.
ASSIST developed a video-based e-learning toolkit for healthcare professionals in Borongan, Iloilo, Roxas, and Tacloban. The platforms provided them with relevant healthcare data gathered from the conduct of stakeholder mapping. ADEPT also became a platform for youth groups and adolescent health care providers to interact and access resources on reproductive healthcare.
In developing the toolkit, ASSIST conducted: (1) Stakeholder Mapping to engage groups of key stakeholders in the project sites; (2) Stakeholder Engagement wherein one-day workshops were conducted in each of the cities to build awareness on the importance of adequate communication between healthcare professionals and the youth; (3) e-Learning Tool Design, Production and Launch wherein the development of the toolkit was based on the inputs from stakeholder consultations; and (4) Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshops where healthcare service providers were equipped in the application of the toolkit in their engagement with the youth.