September 2020 newsletter
This month we feature our President's Insights on World Sight Day and its importance for VOSH/International and its volunteers, celebrate the winner of the 2020 AAO Brien Holden Humanitarian Award, invite all SVOSH chapters to participate in the first meeting of the new SVOSH Leadership Conference, share interesting updates from our partners and a kind reminder to register to our Annual Meeting. Enjoy and send us your news at
President's Insights
Every second Thursday of October the eye health sector celebrates World Sight Day (WSD) to raise awareness about the importance of vision and how to address barriers to optimal vision. This is an excellent opportunity for your local VOSH chapter or student chapter to highlight the effects of preventable blindness and visual impairment 
VOSH California President receives the 2020 AAO Brien Holden Humanitarian Award 
The AAO Brien Holden Humanitarian Award recognises an individual or organisation, who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region. The award acknowledges humanitarian efforts in the non-for-profit sector. This year’s awardee is Greg Pearl, OD, a long-time VOSH/International leader and volunteer and current President of VOSH-California. Dr Pearl went on his first humanitarian clinic in 1988 and never looked back. Over the years, he became more aware of and interested in sustainable solutions that can serve people in need on a regular basis. He has been at the core of such efforts in Nicaragua and when he became VOSH/International President (2009-2011) he enthusiastically continued supporting this approach. Resulting from his efforts in 2013, the VOSH Corps program came to life and continues to date in collaboration with the Brien Holden Foundation and supported by Optometry Giving sight. Dr Pearl is a great ambassador for VOSH/International. His enthusiasm and energy have no limits and we, the VOSH/International family, are proud of this accomplishment and grateful for his support. Congratulations to a great humanitarian!
Read AAO's press release here
Our Annual Meeting is on November 7th. Do not forget to register
SVOSH Leadership Conference
We are excited to announce that the first meeting of the SVOSH Leadership Conference will be held on October 8th at 8:00 PM (CST). The SVOSH survey carried out in May informed the contents of the program. The first meeting will be held in English but the program includes sessions in Spanish and English to cater for all our SVOSH chapters.

All SVOSH chapter members are invited to participate. More information on the program and how to register is here.
Have you already registered?
Our first virtual meeting is approaching. Please register and join us in a day full of interesting sessions -including a couple of COPE sessions. More information and registration here

SVOSH Photo contest is now open

Our super creative SVOSH chapters can now submit their photos for the SVOSH Photo Competition. Send your entries to by October 16th.

More details on the competition are here
COVID-19 Relief & Equality in eye health fund
We are happy to announce that our proposal for "Strengthening cultural competency skills and addressing biases for better patient care and equality" has been funded. We will provide more details soon. Watch the space. Thanks OGS for your support.
Partners' News
IACLE’s first virtual conference “Back to contact lenses’ will be held on Saturday 26 September. IACLE members can join for free, some selected sessions available to watch through the IACLE Facebook page for non-members and students. Access the conference brochure hereRegister here.
World Council of Optometry
The World Council of Optometry has decided to postpone the 4th World Congress of Optometry (WCO4) until September 8-10, 2023 to be held in Melbourne, Australia. More details here.
The World Council of Optometry's new website has a new look, cleaner design and enhanced navigation. Check it out here
Prevent Blindness is requesting US organisations to reach out to your Senators and encourage them to increase the CDC’s Vision and Eye Health program to $5 million in FY2021.It is increasingly important that vision and eye health is included in response efforts so that people with vision loss and eye disease or visual disability are not disproportionately affected. The current fiscal year ends on September 30. An statement explaining this work is available here.

VISION 2020 USA World Sight Briefing

This year this virtual meeting will focus on "Addressing COVID-19 related health care challenges with stronger telehealth policy: The future of medicine". It will take place on October 8th, 11:00AM-12:00PM EDT. More details here
Monthly observances
International Literacy Day

Every 8th of September the international community highlights the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts supporting literacy. Access to a pair of glasses can immediately help an individual to learn. No child should miss out on education because they can’t afford an eye exam or prescription eyeglasses.
Sports Eye Safety Month 

According to data from Prevent Blindness, more eye injuries occur from basketball followed by pools & water sports. Prevent Blindness has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Month to help educate the public on the best ways to protect eyes and keep vision healthy while playing sports. Read more here
More information available here