The Samen is niet alleen (SINA) foundation and the Amsterdam branches of the Hans Anders optical retail chain have announced - at the opening of the new branch at shopping centre Reigerbos in southeast Amsterdam - that they want to work closely for the purpose of offering more prospects for people in poverty and in debt. The official opening saw board member Angeli Engels hand over a cheque for €15,000 to Maaike Neys, team leader at the SINA foundation group ‘children in poverty. This will enable the organisation to help 50 people who are unable to purchase glasses with buying a complete pair of prescription glasses with accompanying professional eye measurement.
It is important for the SINA foundation that people who live on or below the poverty line can continue to take part in society and that social exclusion is prevented. Good eyesight is an important factor here. Jurre van de Kamp, founder of the SINA foundation: ‘People in low-income households experience social exclusion as one of the most unpleasant consequences of their poverty. Poor eyesight reinforces this exclusion even more! No less than one in five households in Amsterdam are living in poverty. We meet children and parents from these households that cannot afford to purchase proper glasses. These people sometimes live off only 50 euros per week so that nothing is left and it is impossible to invest in glasses. That is why we are very happy with the collaboration with Hans Anders.’
After its establishment in 1982, Hans Anders broke open the optical retail market by offering much lower prices for fashionable glasses with prescription lenses. The company’s mission is still to make good quality eye care and hearing care affordable for everyone. Angeli Engels: ‘Our mission means it speaks for itself that we care about those who have found themselves in a situation where they no longer have the financial breathing space to afford a pair of glasses when they really need one. That is why Hans Anders enjoys working with the Samen Is Niet Alleen foundation, which works with our shops to ensure that even the most financially vulnerable in the city can continue to take part in society.’
The cheque comes with fifty vouchers that the SINA foundation can issue as they see fit, to Amsterdam residents who are most in need of eye care and glasses. Engels: Our partner is able to put a face to poverty like no other. Thanks to the collaboration, we know our contribution will end up in the right place and have the intended effect.’
The Samen is niet alleen foundation is aimed at individuals and families who live on or below the poverty line. The aim is to use different methods to offer people insight into their own abilities and to make the individual or family more self-sufficient so that they can be part of society (again). There are various projects, all aimed at providing support for people living in poverty. This could be anything from help with financial mattes to education-related questions from families.
Hans Anders was established in 1982 and is now a successful value-for-money retailer in glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids, offering high quality at competitive prices. Hans Anders, as part of the group, is the market leader in the Netherlands and has more than 400 shops in the Netherlands and Belgium. In Sweden, the Hans Anders Retail Group operates under the brand Direkt Optik with 40 shops. The chain Eyes + More, with 170 shops in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria is also part of the Hans Anders retail group. Good eyesight is essential in avoiding social exclusion. The availability of glasses for people who can hardly afford these aids, or cannot afford them at all, plays a pivotal role here. With this in mind, Hans Anders launched a social programme in December 2019 that provides eyewear for organisations that work to combat poverty and promote citizens’ self-reliance, in municipalities where Hans Anders opens a new branch.