The Himalayan Institute Cameroon has unveiled a new rural empowerment project called New Vision. The goal of the project is to bring affordable reading glasses to the rural communities of Cameroon and at the same time create jobs for the people selling the glasses. Reading glasses are hard to come by in Cameroon and the ones that are available are often too expensive for the average person to buy. When elderly members of the community begin to lose their vision, there is nothing to be done. Even worse, tailors and seamstresses lose their livelihoods when their vision starts to weaken. The New Vision program is providing a remedy to this problem.
Classes are already underway to train several New Vision consultants. The class covers the biology of the eye, how to diagnose eye and vision problems, and how to run a successful small business. Topics such as financial planning, making appointments, and customer service are all covered to ensure that each New Vision consultant has all of the skills necessary to create and sustain their own small business. Upon successful completion of the course, consultants are eligible for a micro-loan to get their business started.
The HIC selects consultants that come from many different areas of Kumbo and the surrounding villages. As more consultants are trained, more self-sustaining jobs are created and more communities in Cameroon will have access to reading glasses.