APM Terminals has teamed up with a non-profit organisation, TwoBillionEyes Foundation in Kenya to provide vision improvement access to truck drivers at Great Lakes Ports Limited.
Poor vision is a global issue affecting 2.5 billion people, according to information from TwoBillionEyes.
Meanwhile, youth unemployment is a challenge across Africa, with Kenya posting a 39.1 percent unemployment rate based on the United Nations Human Development Index 2017 report.
Commenting on the initiative, Wouter De Gier, Head of Safety, Environment and Performance Management, APM Terminals, said, “APM Terminals is committed to creating meaningful impact to the communities where we operate. We are delighted to collaborate with TwoBillionEyes to promote among our driver partners the importance of proper vision that leads to road safety, as well as to provide economic opportunities among the youth in Kenya.”
The partnership resulted in a free eye check-up camp held from 27 August to 13 September 2018, benefitting 550 truck drivers who ply the Mombasa roads. The vision testing made use of the 0.66 minimum Kenyan requirement for driving. Of this number, 14 percent or 77 drivers were fitted and issued with eyeglasses on the spot to improve their vision.
Conducting the vision testing were eight unemployed youth branded as VisionVijana agents (Vijana means youth in Swahili). These agents were selected through a rigorous recruitment process from a pool of youth applicants. Following the selection process, the agents participated in two intensive weeks of technical training from licensed professionals, empowering them to conduct the vision testing with confidence and subsequently receive compensation.
Tito Okuku, Managing Director of Great Lakes Ports Limited, APM Terminals Kenya adds, “Uncorrected vision could not only derail our operations but also compromise the business of our customers and trade partners. We want to ensure that our driver partners see clearly so they can deliver customer cargoes safely and on time.”