Mr Nikolay Romanov works as an Associate Director at the Essilor AMERA New Product Introduction Team​. He started his early volunteering days in his home country, Russia. During his 1st EVF charity event with the intellectually disabled at the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), he was deeply moved by the work he experienced and the interactions with the beneficiaries and caregivers. After that event, he stepped up to be a volunteer leader for the project and had the opportunity to work with other local and international NGOs. Nikolay strongly believes that everyone should have a basic right to good vision.


Why do you volunteer? 
I’ve always had a passion to help people around me and when the opportunity came to become a volunteer leader for EVF’s project for the Intellectually Disabled at MINDS, I immediately volunteered without hesitation.

What are three key learnings you have gained from the volunteering activities?  

Even in developed countries like Singapore, people with intellectual disabilities (ID) have a lack of access to basic vision care services.

Our community needs to put in a great deal of effort to make it possible for people with ID to feel comfortable in society.

As I put my heart and soul into this project to help those in need, the most memorable part of this project was seeing a smile on the beneficiaries’ faces, realizing that our work brings a sense of comfort to them.

What is one thing you would like to say to others who are considering volunteering?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and I’m glad that I took that first step to make a difference.”


Peter Hua

EVF Ambassador

“Besides connecting with positive and proactive co-workers, we gained a sense of purpose as a team. In turn, I personally appreciated people’s differences while building empathy and social awareness in the process."

Trey Eng

Beneficiary, Retired Dressmaker, 72

“Can you see my pretty eyes now? With this pair of glasses, I’m able to see all my lovely grandchildren!”

Juliana Chua

EVF Ambassador

“Influence positively, inspire and retain great volunteers. Recruiting volunteers is only a start. Keeping the team motivated and inspired is the real difference."

Sunil Bhangale

EVF Ambassador

"Helping provide good vision to the underprivileged certainly boosts their confidence in managing their routine activities and brings smiles to their faces."

Weng San

Beneficiary, Driver, 58

“I’m just so happy to see my family members smile today with their new pair of glasses!”

Moe Hwet

Beneficiary, Field Worker, 65

“With these new pair of glasses, now I can see how beautiful the world truly is!”


Beneficiary, Student, 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

EVF Volunteer Lead Optometrist

“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