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Daily portraits: the optical unit

Cœur de Gazelles

The caravan’s optical unit is one of those that receive the most patients during the medical caravan. This year, in addition to our title partner Atol Les Opticiens, Vinyl Factory contributed to the association by providing sunglasses to protect sensitive eyes.

Through their support, every day of the caravan, dozens of people receive effective protection against the sun.

Every year the optical unit is composed of two opticians and an ophthalmologist, often Moroccan, who facilitates communication between the opticians and the patients.

Thibaut and Audrey are part of the caravan every year. In addition, every year Thibaut, an employee of the optical unit’s main partner Atol Les Opticiens, is in charge of ensuring that the caravan has all the material it requires for its mission.

This mission is especially important when it comes to children: as the eyes continue to develop until the age of 6, if an optical defect is corrected early enough the eye can continue to develop and improve. This generally has a large impact on the child’s education.

Atol Les Opticiens is a very important partner for the medical caravan, and we send them a huge thank you for their commitment.

Presentation of the team

First name: Thibaut

Occupation: Quality and Training Manager, Atol Les Opticiens

Number of years with CDG: 8

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “It was Adriana Karembeu, the face of Atol, who told me about the medical caravan. I came in 2012 to supervise and improve the system, and I officially joined the caravan the following year. After consideration, we came up with the idea of the standard frame, which allows us to provide a wide range of different corrections while optimizing our time. I’m in charge of the material: the lenses are provided by CRIP Montpellier, and I pick up frames that are no longer marketed, which means they are recycled rather than thrown out.

It’s a real joy to live this adventure and to be able to help those in need. It’s a pleasure to work with the local communities, and they are always extremely grateful for what we do for them.”

First name: Audrey

Occupation: Optician

Number of years with CDG: 5

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “I did the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in 2014, and I paid a visit to Cœur de Gazelles. I knew Thibaut, who called me as soon as there was a place. The optical unit is unusual in that it provides immediate benefit to the patient. So their gratitude is immediate as well, and it’s a real pleasure to share that with them. The team in one big family and we are always very happy to see each other.”

First name: Anass

Occupation: Ophthalmologist at the Rabat specialty hospital

Number of years with CDG: 1

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “My department head told me about Cœur de Gazelles. I like adventure, and I learned more about the association through the stories of my colleagues. I’m loving the experience, it allows us to help people who have no access to care.”




Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.