In June 2018, Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) and the Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) embarked on a mission to bring vision care to a group of Pa’O tribe coffee farmers in Pinlaung, Shan State, Myanmar. Many of whom have never had the opportunity to get their eyes checked nor are aware that they need vision correction.

Shan State, Myanmar

Dates: June 2018
Duration: 2 days
People screened: 497
Eyeglasses given: 442

Volunteers participated: 11

Pa’O is the seventh largest ethnic nationality in Myanmar and second largest ethnic group in Shan State with a population of around 1.8 million.

EVF and SOA partnered with social business company, Behind the Leaf Coffee, to reach out to the Pa’O farmers over a 2-day eye screening event which took place at the factory of Behind the Leaf Coffee. Close to 500 farmers got their eyes checked, with more than 400 of them walking away with a pair of glasses and sunglasses.

Pierre-Yves_Behind the Leaf Quote

Such a life changing event…

“I never thought giving glasses would be such a life changing event. Elders able to read again, students able to see the blackboard in school. And what a fulfilling experience to work with volunteers from all backgrounds. From my heart – Thank you.”

Pierre-Yves Leonard / SimplifEye Director, Essilor AMERA
Trina Ho_Behind the Leaf Quote

Heartwarming experience…

“It was a heartwarming experience to be able to give sight to the Pa’O villagers. Despite the language barrier we had, we were still able to see their genuine happiness in their expression and that is what makes me feel thankful for this opportunity. And not forgetting the amazing team that collaborated together to make this event such a monumental experience.”

Trina Ho / Optometrist, Singapore Optometric Association



You were a volunteer on this project? Do not hesitate to share your experience. We would be happy to highlight it here. SUBMIT YOUR EXPERIENCE


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Vitancur Severa

Domestic helper, 39

“These free eye check-ups and glasses are a great help to me as I could not afford them.”


Retired staff at Viengthong Village, 55

“In all my working life I have never seen any day like today.”

2. Anouluck Philanvanh circle


Student from Phu My Secondary School, 15

“When I got blurred vision, I always wished I had a pair of eyeglasses – they are like a friend of mine which I use everyday.”

Bao Tram

Wee Sing

Volunteer from Essilor R&D, 
Center for Innovation & Technology Asia

“This showed me the need for such outreach projects as people often don’t have access to the services we offered them.”

Wee Sing Ong