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SKYGEN International Foundation Celebrates Anniversary

It has completed more than 72,000 vision tests in Tanzania.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MENOMONEE FALLS, WI – The SKYGEN International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the healthcare benefits technology and administration company SKYGEN USA, celebrates a year of achievement and growth in its effort to provide vision services throughout underserved communities in Tanzania. Since July 2018, this non-profit organization provided more than 72,000 Tanzanians with vision tests and distributed more than 19,000 pairs of free prescription glasses and will expand its reach to more regions of the East African country in the coming months.

Craig Kasten, SKYGEN USA CEO and managing partner, and Greg Borca, co-founder of SKYGEN USA, advocated for the creation of the foundation in 2017 after a trip to Tanzania by Kasten shed light on the nearly nonexistent eye care in many regions of the country. Kasten gained the first-hand experience on the negative impact the lack of care had on schools within the communities.

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“There is an average of four eye doctors for every 2 million people in Tanzania,” says Kasten. “This past year has been extremely successful. We have expanded our capabilities to provide glasses to those in need, and we continue to see more students and community members receiving eye care that was not possible a year ago.”

On July 9, 2018, a team from SKYGEN International Foundation, led by executive director Lisa Sweeney, traveled to the Meru region of Tanzania to begin the groundwork for the project — the first of its kind for the SKYGEN USA group. Since then, the foundation has provided tens of thousands of locals with vision tests and provided more than 19,000 pairs of glasses; of those tested, over 50,000 are students and 2,300 are teachers. The glasses are built to each person’s specific prescription and in most cases delivered on the day of the test. In May alone, 11,000 people received vision tests, making it the organization’s most successful month to date. For students, the work the Foundation is doing means creating more opportunities for a better life. For adults and elders, it means restoring dignity and allowing them to lead richer, more fulfilling lives.

The foundation has consistently delivered life-changing healthcare benefits to those without access and makes it a priority to utilize its Enterprise System vision platform to maintain a record of those who have utilized the now-available eye care services. Because of its efforts, SKYGEN International Foundation recently received the Platinum Seal of Transparency award from GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. The top-tier award is given to organizations with high transparency and accuracy in regard to its reported results, overview of the organization and insight on the communities it serves.

“This award is a sign that we are moving in the right direction with the transparency of our work within the philanthropic community,” states Sweeney. “After providing thousands of people with access to eye care, I am eager to see the foundation continue as it begins providing services to more regions of Tanzania and beyond.”

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On top of school visits, the foundation regularly conducts vision tests at clinics where locals can receive vision tests and prescription glasses. Previously, these efforts have focused on the Meru region of Tanzania. The foundation has recently expanded into the Arusha region, an area that can substantially benefit from accessible eye care. Following the anniversary, on August 18, 2019, a team will revisit the regions to build on its efforts, work with the local Tanzanian team and secure partnerships.

To learn more about the SKYGEN International Foundation, see current results and/or donate to the foundation, visit https://skygenfoundation.org.

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