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A clear-eyed vision

Sandvik is donating wire that will change the lives of thousands of people in developing countries who can't see well enough to functionin their daily lives. Through the OneDollarGlasses organization, the wire will be transformed into frames for affordable glasses.

Around the world some 150 million people need glasses but can't afford them. Working with the organization OneDollarGlasses, Sandvik is making a contribution to help change this. OneDollarGlasses provides materials and holds courses in how to manufacture a pair of durable glasses in 12 minutes, without electricity or tools, for less than a dollar.

150,000 pairs of glasses

The program involves training future opticians to make and ultimately sell the glasses. Sandvik is donating 500 kilograms of steel wire to OneDollarGlasses to help in this effort. The wire will be made into approximately 150,000 pairs of glasses. Martin Aufmuth, the founder of OneDollarGlasses and inventor of the inexpensive glasses on which the program is based, got the idea from Paul Polak's book Out of Poverty. Polak had mentioned the possibility of such glasses, although they didn't yet exist.

As a person with impaired vision, you are hampered in your everyday life," says Aufmuth. "You can't read or study, you can't see someone when you meet them. Glasses make an enormous difference."

Strong and flexible steel wire

The frames for Aufmuth's glasses are created from bent steel wire and the plastic lenses click into the frames. However, Aufmuth was having trouble finding steel wire that was sufficiently strong, yet flexible enough to cope with the demands of the glasses. Sandvik wire proved to be the solution.

"No other supplier could deliver a wire with the right qualities," says Jonas Eriksson, Technical Marketing at Sandvik Materials Technology, Wire applications. "Our wire, however, was twice as expensive as the wire Aufmuth had been using. But we felt this was such a deserving cause that we couldn't accept payment. Instead we decided to donate the entire order."

Aufmuth was extremely grateful. "At the moment, donations make all the difference," he says. "Until we are underway, donations are paying for the courses, the materials, everything. Sandvik donating the wire is an incredibly big help to us."


  • Founded in 2012 in Erlangen, Germany
  • A nonprofit charity organization
  • Aims to supply 150 million people with glasses
  • Is dependent on donations
  • Read more: www.onedollarglasses.org

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