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Jihlava glass collection, Source: City of Jihlava

Jihlava residents collect record number of glasses for developing countries

Jihlava residents collect record number of glasses for developing countries

Recycling your old glasses can make a real difference for those who can’t afford to buy a pair

750 pairs of glasses or 110 pieces more than last year – this is the aftermath of a charity collection of this visual impairment correction item in Jihlava, as announced on the municipal website. The coronavirus pandemic and the associated difficulties in terms of logistics could not stop the residents of the Czech city to contribute to the charity cause for the third time.

Doing good, despite the circumstances

In the spring of last year, the collection of used glasses began again in Jihlava. They were meant for the inhabitants of poor African states.

Unable to physically arrive at collection points due to the lockdown, many participants sent their contributions by post, while some handed them over in a box located in the Tourist Information Centre or during the Health Day in September.

So great was the success of the promotional campaign, that the packages came literally from all over the Czech Republic and beat last year’s number by over 100. Jihlava authorities are pleased with the results and will resume the campaign for the fourth year in 2021.

So, what happens after the collection is that the glasses are sent to an international organisation - Lions Club, which organizes the action. They further sort the glasses and send them to a collection centre in Italy (or the nearest available), where the dioptres are further measured. From here, the glasses that are not suitable for reuse are recycled for scrap, while those who still have some life left are sent to developing countries as part of humanitarian operations.

As indicated on the website of Lions Club, an estimated 120 million people are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors. Most of the times, this impairment can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. However, as many people from poor countries cannot afford to buy such, they face deteriorated opportunities for education, employment and which ultimately lead to a worsened quality of life.

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