For many, glasses mean participation in social life Â© PixieMe (shutterstock)
Needy and socially weak do not have the necessary means to afford eyeglasses. Without visual aids, however, they are excluded from social life, criticizes the managing director of the Vinzenz Conferences in Paderborn.
Last year, Caritas Paderborn's campaign under the motto "Keeping your eyes open" helped more than 280 needy people nearly 17.000 euros in subsidies for eyeglasses. Since the campaign began, he said, 1.300 needy spectacle wearers with a total of around 106.000 euro promoted, how the Caritas Paderborn communicated on Tuesday. "Recipients of social security benefits should literally save glasses from their mouths. This is utopian," criticized Matthias Krieg, managing director of the Vincentian Conferences, which are based at the Diocesan Caritas Association in Paderborn.
Glasses important for participation
Many people who live on Hartz IV, receive a mini-pension or have fled their homeland cannot afford the costs, Krieg explained. "Glasses are essential so that a person can participate in social life without danger," he emphasized. Although the new standard rates for recipients of basic social security benefits are currently being determined, there is no sign of movement in this matter. The state is not fulfilling its responsibility to provide vital support to people in need, he added. "This is what we want to change," said the executive director of the Vincentian Conferences.
Solidarity in communities
The action is supported by the Association of Vincentian Conferences in the Archdiocese of Paderborn, founded in 1848. Members reportedly want to help carry out the Church's mission of solidarity aid in communities in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Frederick Ozanam. In the archdiocese of Paderborn there are 13 local Vincentian conferences with a total of about 150 members. Country widely engage themselves approximately 5.000 members in about 350 Vincentian Conferences for people in need.