Proyecto Lumen

This Entry has been submitted.

Proyecto Lumen: The transformation of the visual health system addressed from the community the

Caracas, VenezuelaToda Venezuela, Venezuela
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Lumen Method is a simple, yet effective methodology to train school teachers as Primary Visual Health agents, providing them with competencies to perform visual screenings every year to their students, properly with a sensitivity up to 70%. This project is expanding universal access to visual health in Venezuela.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

Lumen fights untiringly to help the communities to overcome the blindness related to poverty
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

A failure of basic healthcare and poor visual health contribute to a cycle of poverty. Only about 30% of children receive regular eye examinations, but one in four children suffers from some vision-related problem that can interfere in learning. This is particularly a problem in low-income areas where there is no existing infrastructure for visual health. Most research suggests that approximately 20% of children of basic education have a specific eye condition that affects their equal visual performance. Early detection of a defect in eyesight is essential for partial or total correction or remediation.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Lumen project developed a low-cost eye chart included in the visual diagnostic kit that provides teachers with a simple method. This eye chart is easy to manage and use circular shapes instead of letters as traditional tests, making it readable for all ages and illiterate children. With the help of a few interns, students or optometrists, Lumen trains teachers to successfully manage the exams in their classes and become primary agents for Visual Prevention. Over three days, teachers learn to diagnose vision problems and provide specialized care empathic children who identify with the challenges. During its pilot in 2009, 600 teachers conducted tests in a single day.


-BI MMH Fellowship, Ashoka Fellowship -Two times finalist in the constest “Emprendedor social del año” de Shwab Foundation y Venezuela sin Limites” años 2013 y 2014
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Lumen Project team has had a splendid experience to visit the remote community of Urban, which has been able to replicate on its own experience with the creation of the network of alliances and generating all being for the student community in the first instance visual health, but help them develop in other areas as well. Teamwork generate positive results, improving eye health in children of basic education and prevent complications from lack of medical care due to poor communities of difficult access.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The method Lumen social impacts the current system of visual health contributing to the improvement of the same long-term, making the visual health a priority for communities, but in a simple and accessible way. Lumen, awakens a large demand for eye care in remote and isolated communities and instead to build a parallel system, developed aintegration system in which the different actors that contribute in developing the kit, providing methodology, implementation and regulation are involved co-exist to keep the project on time with a self that is easily ducted. Thus it is shown that a better visual attention is a simple and effective way to improve performance in school and the workplace environment, so it can be applied in schools to generate an improvement with the participation and cooperation of citizens as a promoter end of the project.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Lumen Method is easily replicable, main compound and essentially by the visual diagnostic kit which was developed by the team, and that the offered training to teachers, can thus break the vicious cycle of poverty by providing better access to students the primary eye care services that improve their performance and learning process, all this by training their teachers as primary Prevention Agents visual. When performing early detection of uncorrected ametropia in the school population generates demand for specialized eye care services is real and objective.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The budget required for implementing the project is Lumen is little cost-benefit scale as a fundraising funding has focused on a system of multiple alliances with private and social sectors to ensure medical and financial resources, in collaboration with the stakeholders involved makes possible the transfer of the methodology, implementation and continuity over time. This system is viable through high impact and potential for Lumen national project.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Lumen is a catalyst project that aimed at building a multidisciplinary and inter sectoral network that is where its viability and sustainability by involving the various sectors that are required in their implementation, where the schools are integrated, the profession of optometry , public sector agencies, and the public behind the initiative. By demonstrating that a better visual attention is a simple and effective way to improve performance in school and the workplace, involving all citizens to participate and promote their program.

Founding Story

The Lumen project born from the initiative of a Venezuelan social entrepreneur named Martin Guzman, who is the first optometrist in the world to be named Ashoka Fellow in Venezuela with this project. This initiative began in 2011, and is motivated to "The view is a fundamental human right and sabeque 80% of vision problems are preventable or curable if properly handled on time" and mission of Lumen Project is educate primary school teachers to be key players in the prevention of eye health.


Lumen Project is currently composed by six field coordinators , a promoter of field and 90 facilitators, who are students of optometry, who work to fulfill community service hours required for graduation or internships . Figure that remain due to the constant demand of the optometry carreer.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

The idea is to plan together, through a co-creative compas steps to scale the method using as a platform to Faith and joy (FYA), an NGO that has 179 schools and educates more than 200,000 children and youth in all levels. At this moment we are consolidating an alliance with FYA Lumen method to include in a program called "Healthy Schools", which includes three conditions for learning: Vision, Hearing and Nutrition. FYA is the perfect opportunity to pilot the Lumen Method as public policy.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Research and Development, Specific Disease Expertise, Marketing/Communications Support, Human Resources, Public Policy Knowledge, Access to Capital.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

Mainly human resources, which allows us to co-create a mass of method, so that the interaction with the project coordinator, field coordinator, promoter of field, people for management and monitoring platform e-learning and video conferencing would be necessary, people for management and monitoring of the SMS network, and more infrastructure necessary for the realization of the method as a need to implement in all schools in communities with difficult access to care in the world model.

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Insights into pricing and financing of health products/services, Insights into behavior change.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Improving the affordability of healthcare (e.g., microinsurance, reducing the economic cost of care), Increasing physical access to healthcare to people with restricted mobility or restricted access (senior people, people with disability, remote or difficult areas, etc.), Holistic solutions that work across the entire care continuum (including education, prevention, detection, treatment, management, follow-up), Models that engage other industry players (e.g., nutrition, athletic, mobility organizations)., Remote care solutions for health management, treatment, and diagnosis, Packaging of health products and services to address needs currently unmet.

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together
Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea
How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?
Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?
What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?
Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.
What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?
Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?
How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?