The HEAR Haiti project aims to provide sustainable support for the people of Leveque, a community of people with hearing loss in Haiti. The purpose of this is to ensure that the hearing impaired children of Leveque have access to audiological care and speech therapy.
|Partner:||Commissioned Believers Deaf Ministry (CBDM)|
With 11 million inhabitants and an average annual income of around 480 US dollars, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. Here there is virtually no chance of children with untreated hearing loss developing at an appropriate rate for their age. In 2014, a comprehensive project – HEAR HAITI – was set up in Leveque to ensure early diagnosis and sustainable treatment is provided for children with hearing loss.
Employees of the Sonova Group are playing a major role in setting up and implementing HEAR HAITI. In December 2013, a team of Sonova volunteers assessed the situation in Haiti and helped to draw up a sustainable project plan, which Sonova colleagues are now putting into practice through continued volunteer missions. Dedicated teams of around 12 volunteers travel to Leveque several times a year to spend a week conducting hearing screenings, fitting hearing aids, seeing follow-ups on children who have already received treatment, and repairing broken hearing devices. They also train local staff to ensure that they can provide long-term audiological care and to create jobs in the local area.
However, it is not just the children in Leveque who benefit from this project; it leaves a lasting impression on the Sonova volunteers too. Nathan stated “This trip has reminded me why I became an audiologist – to help people!” Samantha, added: “When our first patient, Joulie, got her hearing aid and was able to hear for the very first time in her life, it was an incredibly wonderful thing to see. She was so happy and her reactions are something I’ll never forget!”
In 2012, the Hear the World Foundation donated solar lamps to the Leveque community to help the residents with hearing loss find their way around, communicate and socialize even when it is dark.