World Optometry Foundation

World Optometry Foundation (WOF)

The World Optometry Foundation (WOF) is a not-for-profit organisation that finances the development of optometry around the world to reduce avoidable blindness. All funds raised by WOF are used to support the World Council of Optometry’s programmes and projects that: develop or enhance education in optometry schools, provide educational materials and clinical equipment to impoverished nations, and/or create public health programs and community outreach initiatives.

The WOF supports the World Council of Optometry Fellowships. WCO Fellowships are intended to support the goals and objectives of the WCO (see the WCO Strategic Plan). The highest priority for fellowships are innovative projects which result in long-term sustainable results. Areas of priority are education; advocacy; public health; standards; and policy and legislation. For additional information including criteria for applicants, how to apply for a fellowship or to view past fellowship recipients, click here.

In the past, generous donations have been received from individuals and companies that have helped fund WOF projects. The WOF’s registration in the U.S.A. allows companies and corporations based in the United States to take advantage of United States tax allowances on charitable giving.

The following statistics illustrate why WOF projects are instrumental in reducing avoidable blindness around the world:

  • 250 million people worldwide are blind or visually impaired because they lack access to an eye examination and pair of glasses.
  • Severe refractive errors have been estimated to account for about 5 million blind people.
  • 75% of the world’s blindness is preventable.
  • More than 50% of people with low vision could be helped with low vision devices or special services.
  • 90% of avoidable blindness occurs in the developing world.

Check out this video to learn more.

To donate to WOF to give the gift of vision to people in need, please contact

WOF Board of Directors


Armin Duddek, Dipl Augenoptiker, SBAO, FEAOO


Treasurer, Trustee

Peter Kehoe, OD, FAAO



Dwight Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO



Susan Cooper, OD, FAAO



Ian P. Davies, MCOptom, DipCLP, FAAO



Paul Folkesson



Scott Mundle, OD



Howard Purcell, OD FAAO





Optometry Giving Sight (OGS)

The Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation and Optometry Giving Sight have strengthened their relationship in 2018 to have its global operations for both organisations becoming outcome-driven from one central resource hub. With the shared common missions and values, the two organisations will continue to operate cohesively under a working relationship jointly established over the last 15 years. The efficiencies created and stronger linkage to projects through this joint approach will mean more funds can go to projects that will benefit more people around the world. Critical to this is the continued relationship between WCO, OGS and BHVI. Support to advocacy and the development of optometry from OGS and BHVIF through WCO will ensure an aligned approach to the development of global strategies and activities to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision impairment.

Case Study 1: Sheilah Nangena

Case Study 2: Esther Solomon
Case Study 3: Minh Anh

Case Study 4: Ermias Hernair

Other Projects Supported by WOF

Refractive Error Study in Children (RESC)

VISION 2020: The Right to Sight lists refractive errors, alongside cataracts, trachoma, onchocerciasis and childhood blindness, among eye conditions whose prevention and elimination can yield substantial socio-economic and educational developments worldwide.

Reported studies reveal considerable geographic variations in refractive errors, yet the distribution and variation of refractive error prevalence in different populations and age, gender and race sub-groups remains largely unknown. The persistent limitations and difficulties in reporting refractive errors in peer-reviewed circles are based on definitions of refractive errors, limited representation in studied populations, variable demographics and non-uniform refractive techniques.

RESC gathers data essential to determining the magnitude and public health significance of refractive errors in children of different ethnic origins. The data are crucial in improving the delivery and output of current refractive services, and establishing new services in underserved regions worldwide.

VISION 2020: The Right to Sight

VISION 2020: The Right to Sight is the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness, a joint programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) with an international membership of NGOs, professional associations, eye care institutions and corporations.