Projects worldwide

The Hear the World Foundation is committed to improve the quality of life and promote equal opportunities for people with hearing loss globally. The Foundation has a special focus on projects that support children reach their development milestones and realize their full potential in life regardless of their hearing loss.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Worldwide: Special Olympics

The Special Olympics are the world’s biggest sport movement, officially recognised by the Olympic Committee (IOC), for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities. Over 3.5 million children, young people and adults take part in the sporting activities and competitions.

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Malawi: Comprehensive audiological care

Sound Seekers is an organization that focuses on supporting children with hearing loss in the poorest parts of Africa. With the help of the Hear the World Foundation, plans are now in place to build an audiological center in southern Malawi where people can receive comprehensive, sustainable audiological care on site.

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Cambodia: Fighting poverty with information and knowledge

Hearing loss in countries such as Cambodia has many causes. They range from incorrectly treated inflammations of the middle ear, overdosed malaria medications via acoustic trauma due to landmines and culminate in damage to the cochlea nerve in cases of leprosy. Together with the Hear the World Foundation, the aim of the All Ears Cambodia (AEC) Organisation is to decisively improve the healthy hearing of 14 million Cambodians.

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Brazil: Family involvement right from the start

The Brazilian healthcare system provides low-income families with free hearing aids. However, although many people benefit from the services offered , there is often a lack of ongoing support for parents of children with hearing loss. In light of this, the Centro Audição na Criança (CeAC), a hearing center for children, has set up a family program that offers advice on topics related to hearing loss for parents and relatives.

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India: Helping children to gain better hearing

In 1996, the Sylvia Wright Trust founded the Rangammal Memorial School for hearing impaired children in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This boarding school enables poor children with hearing loss to receive a free school education, thus giving them the prospect of a better future. With help from the Hear the World Foundation, the school’s 200 pupils are now being provided with digital hearing aids.

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Mexico: Professionalizing audiological care

The Centro Oaxaqueño de Rehabilitación de Audición y Lenguaje (CORAL) was founded in 1999 by two ENT specialists from the US and two social workers from Mexico. The aim of this aid organization is to ensure that people in the region have access to audiological care. The Hear the World Foundation is now helping CORAL to provide advanced audiological training for local partners in order to optimize the offered services.

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Worldwide: 52 Children

With the "52 Children" project the Hear the World Foundation to provides 52 disadvantaged children per year from around the world with the gift of better hearing. These children will not only receive hearing aids, but professional aftercare will be provided by a local representative or a Phonak partner.

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Mexico: Innovative technology for charging batteries

Many people from developing countries cannot afford the costs of a hearing aid and the maintenance it requires. Hearing aid batteries are often too expensive or not available. To help underprivileged people in Mexico who have a hearing impairment, the aid organization ARSOBO is planning to provide state-of-the-art hearing aids and solar-powered battery charging devices.

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Guatemala: Orejitas Felices – happy little ears

Hearing loss often goes undetected among the rural population in Guatemala. The Maya community, which makes up 65% of the country’s rural inhabitants, is particularly affected by this. A German audiologist decided to step in and make a difference, examining children’s hearing and arranging for hearing aids to be provided if necessary.

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Nicaragua: Audiometry training to provide better care in rural areas

In Nicaragua there is only one trained audiologist in a country with around six million inhabitants. The rural population has little or no access to hearing healthcare, which is restricted to the capital city Managua. This situation is now set to improve thanks to the establishment of a national audiometry training program.

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Armenia: Partnership between two clinics

The Hear the World Foundation has been supporting the partnership between the Arabkir Hospital in the Armenian capital Yerevan and the University Children’s Hospital in Zurich since 2010. Even today, Armenia – a country a third of the size of Switzerland – is still struggling with shortfalls in its healthcare system.

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South Africa: Hearing screening project in rural areas

The objective of the nonprofit organization Sound for Silence is to give children with hearing loss living in rural parts of South Africa the chance to access audiological care. With help from the Hear the World Foundation, a program for early diagnosis of hearing loss in infants and toddlers is now being set up in Ficksburg and the neighboring township of Meqheleng.

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USA: A contact point for affected families

The inhabitants of the rural Berkshires region in the US state of Massachusetts currently only have limited access to hearing healthcare. To address this issue, The Willie Ross School for the Deaf is planning to set up a project that deploys qualified experts locally to help children with hearing loss and their families.

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Kenya: Giving children in Nairobi prospects for the future

In collaboration with the German organization Cargo Human Care, the Hear the World Foundation set up a hearing center in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in 2008. As well as the medical center, a school for the deaf and an affiliated kindergarten have also been established here to guarantee children with hearing loss a sound education.

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Zambia: A British audiology student in Zambia

The aid organization Sound Seekers is committed to helping children with hearing loss in the poorest regions of Africa. As part of a project being run at Ndola Central Hospital in Zambia, a young audiologist is spending six weeks training a local team in order to establish a sustainable audiological service there.

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USA: A multifaceted audiology program

For more than six decades, the Center for Hearing and Speech in Houston, Texas has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for children with hearing loss. With the help of the Hear the World Foundation and in cooperation with Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, the center is now improving the audiological services available to deaf children in the region.

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Haiti: A sustainable program for providing audiological care

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.

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Canada: An interactive prevention program for children in Canada

A study conducted by the American Medical Association revealed that 20 percent of teenagers in North America are affected by hearing loss. The Hearing Foundation of Canada (THFC) is working to combat this issue with its Sound Sense prevention program, which educates children and young people specifically about the topic of hearing loss and noise.

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USA: By parents for parents

When parents discover that their child has a loss of hearing, scores of questions immediately spring to mind. Many of them are overwhelmed at first – and who better to contact for support than other parents who already have years of experience in dealing with exactly the same problems?
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Malawi: The first audiology clinic in the country

An Australian couple is performing truly pioneering work in the southern African country of Malawi. In a place where the majority of the 14 million population lives on less than one US dollar a day and no comprehensive professional audiological care and rehabilitation is available, the couple has established a clinic and training center.

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Panama: The present of hearing for children and adolescents

Not everyone in Panama is fortunate enough to benefit from the country’s flourishing economy – especially not children and young people with hearing loss. A Panamanian organization is therefore campaigning vigorously to give these people a better quality of life and prevent them from becoming isolated.
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USA: The Judith Gravel Fellowship In Pediatric Audiology

In honor of Dr. Judith Gravel, who passed away in 2008, the Hear the World Foundation has set up a fellowship scheme for outstanding audiology students in collaboration with the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of North Carolina, USA. The fellowship includes an annual grant of 15,000 US dollars.

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USA: Providing audiological aid in remote areas

The US healthcare system is regarded as one of the most expensive in the world, and 45.7 million Americans do not have health insurance. A university in Tennessee is committed to providing audiological examinations and effective treatment with hearing aids to low-income families living in remote parts of the country in particular.
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Chile: Promoting musical career

17-year old Yerko DiFonis from Chile has been blind with hearing loss since birth. Despite his constraint, he is considered to be an extraordinary musical talent. When he plays piano, he sees the world through his ears. The Hear the World Foundation financially promotes his talent and  supports his training.

Vietnam: Integration of children with hearing loss in primary schools

1,000 children with hearing loss benefit annually from a project initiated in Vietnam by the American Paige Stringer. Affected by hearing loss herself, the young woman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss. Since 2010, her organization has been committed to ensuring that Vietnamese children are able to achieve their full educational and personality potential. The Hear the World Foundation supports the project financially and through the donation of hearing aids.

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CLOSED PROJECTS

A dream job on a dream island

The Hear the World Foundation has been involved in providing training for audiologists in the Dominican Republic since 2010. This year, its focus has shifted toward funding technical equipment to help the island’s newly qualified audiological specialists achieve their ultimate aim of helping local people with hearing loss.

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A support center for children with hearing loss

Hearing aids and speech therapy for children with hearing loss, thorough training for teachers and care workers and comprehensible advice for parents – these three pillars form the basis of the work carried out at the Ha Giang Center in Vietnam, a project run by the Swiss aid organization Caritas with support from the Hear the World Foundation.

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Diagnosing and treating hearing loss at an early stage

The earlier a child’s hearing loss is detected and managed  accordingly, the better chance that child will have of thriving at school. This is particularly important in a country like Uganda where, with a good 50% of the population under the age of 14, the future belongs to well-educated girls and boys.
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Modern teaching in South Africa

615 children are currently being taught at the Eduplex School in the South African city of Pretoria. 113 of them suffer from hearing loss – but that poses no problem at all here! The use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems ensures that lessons run smoothly and children with hearing loss can learn alongside classmates with no hearing impairment.
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School and kindergarten for children with hearing loss

Approximately 200 pupils ranging in age between six and 20 years old attend School No. 203, a school for children with hearing loss in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Thanks to the support of the Hear the World Foundation, all of them have made steady progress over the last three years.

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Audiological equipment for Africa and India

Do used hearing aids simply get thrown away? Are audiometers, otoscopes and other audiological devices from clinics disposed of without a second thought? There is an alternative option – as demonstrated by a British organization, which recycles and repairs audiological equipment and sends it to nine developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India.
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A British audiology student in the Gambia

The organization “Sound Seekers” has been working to support children with hearing loss in the Gambia, Africa’s smallest country, since 2007. One audiologist recently spent six weeks there training local staff, and thus ensuring the long-term development of the project.
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Practical help for parents of children with hearing loss

Providing support to children with hearing loss – ranging from newborns to five-year-olds – is the main focus of a Canadian organization that offers both effective help for parents and advanced training for specialist staff in the Canadian provinces.
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Prestigious university offers fellowship and lecturing opportunities

Providing the best possible training for the next generation of professionals – this is the aim of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, which awards an annual fellowship to pediatric audiology students as well as a teaching post for outstanding lecturers.

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Raising awareness of the importance of hearing

One in five Australian teenagers can no longer hear very well. This alarming statistic is what prompted an Australian organization to set up a program of one-hour school workshops to teach 10- to 13-year-olds about the risks posed by MP3 players and other sources of noise.
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FM systems improve communication in the classroom

1,800 people live in the north of the Canadian province of Ontario. Cases of hearing impairment are disproportionately frequent here, yet the medical and audiological care available is far from sufficient. A team from Canada’s Western University is working on improving the situation in this remote region.

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Hearing Instruments for children in need

The Hear the World Foundation donates 50 hearing instruments with a total value of more than CHF 100'000.- to children and young people with a hearing loss from Klong Toey, one of the biggest slums in Bangkok. The Swiss Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter formally presented the donation during his visit to Bangkok in November 2012.

Innovative telemedicine

Three physicians from Nigeria, Malawi and South Africa want to improve the care of people with hearing loss in Africa. The Hearing Health Care Consortium aims to enable the transfer of audiological knowledge via the establishment of a telemedicine network. The project receives financial support from the foundation.
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Facing the future with self-confidence and optimism

Great Britain is now also following the trend of integrating students with reduced hearing in primary schools. The aim is to promote the social interaction between children with handicaps and those without: an expedient approach from which both sides benefit. Yet, no one knows better than the affected children themselves how it feels to always be the only one among lots of hearing children who are able to communicate with each other with no complications. A child who often only understands half of what the other children are saying to each other in the playground can quickly feel excluded.

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Timeout from everyday life

For ten children with hearing loss, aged 11 to 17 years old, five sunny days on the British Isle of Wight in June 2011 were the highlight of the year. With the aid of the Hear the World Foundation, the Saturday Club for Deaf Children was able to invite the students from Germany for a short holiday.

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Best school education despite hearing loss

Students with reduced hearing are unable to make friends in public schools and universities via sign language, which is why the Mary Hare School attaches great importance to the correct learning of the spoken language. The school plus boarding school for 240 children with hearing loss is located 80 kilometers west of London and is the most important place of refuge for children with reduced hearing in the entire country. A few children even come here from abroad in order to benefit from the school’s excellent reputation and the impressive results.

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The first audiological studies in the Caribbean

Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and The Bahamas – what sounds like a list of favorite holiday destinations are the campuses of the only university in the world with locations in four different countries. The University of the West Indies (UWI), founded in 1962, is the oldest university in the Caribbean and the only regional academic education to focus its curriculum on the needs of the Caribbean countries. Even though the tradition-steeped University of the West Indies has more than 40,000 registered students and produces 6,000 graduates annually, there is still no education for audiologists available there. Although competent audiologists are urgently needed in the Caribbean countries, to date no one has been able to learn the profession there. The Jamaican physician, Prof. Maureen Samms-Vaughan, wanted to change that.

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Hearing the sound of the sea again

The state of general medical care in Fiji cannot be compared with health care in industrial countries. In Germany, for instance, 337 inhabitants share one physician, whereas the ratio is 2100:1 in Fiji. Up to two years ago any treatment of hearing loss was scarcely imaginable. On the one hand there was a lack of physicians with the relevant training at their command; on the other hand the technical equipment needed to even enable a diagnosis to be made was unavailable.

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Being one among many for once

For six days the summer camp of the Youth Section of the German Hearing Loss Federation allows young people and adults aged 14 to 35 years old to compare notes with people in the same situation in life. For once they belong to the majority rather than the minority. No one has to be considerate of them. For once they are able to feel as if they are one among many.

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Together instead of alone

Canada is the second largest country on earth, but what people in densely populated Europe associate with great freedom often means loneliness and isolation for Canadian children with hearing loss, as they hardly ever meet any other children with the same handicap as they have. They are usually the only children in their school with a hearing aid. Thus, an organization such as the Northern BC Children and Families Hearing Society is all the more important for such children. The Hear the World Foundation provides them with active support.

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Good hearing - even for penniless people

Many families in Kalamazoo Country live below the poverty level. Audiology students in the Kalamazoo Poverty Reduction Initiative combat this and supply the penniless with food, clothing, medicine and hearing tests. To promote and further expand the project, financial support is provided.

Sensorially stimulating playground

Learning the most fundamental principles in life effortlessly. That's the requirement of playgrounds for children with reduced hearing in the English Speech Language and Hearing Centre in London, which receives financial support. The intention is to stimulate the sensory abilities via various materials, sounds and symbols.

Protecting hearing at work

The "Facts in Action international" non-profit organization wants to sensitize Kenyan craftsmen who are exposed to extremely high noise levels  due to their profession. The project aims to raise awareness of the danger of noise-related hardness of hearing and to motivate the craftsmen to protect their hearing.

Hearing tests far away from civilization

An audiology student at Western University, Canada, as well as an experienced audiologist travel to Attawapiskat (Canada) every year to offer hearing tests for children and adults in this remote, isolated place. The project receives financial support from the  Hear the World Foundation.

The country needs audiologists

Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and The Bahamas – what sounds like a list of favorite holiday destinations are the campuses of the only university in the world with locations in four different countries. The University of the West Indies (UWI), founded in 1962, is the oldest university in the Caribbean and the only regional academic education to focus its curriculum on the needs of the Caribbean countries. Even though the tradition-steeped University of the West Indies has more than 40,000 registered students and produces 6,000 graduates annually, there is still no education for audiologists available there. Although competent audiologists are urgently needed in the Caribbean countries, to date no one has been able to learn the profession there. The Jamaican physician, Prof. Maureen Samms-Vaughan, wanted to change that.

» Learn more

Care under the most difficult of conditions

Rwanda, the “land of a thousand hills”, is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. Civil war and genocide – those are the two buzzwords associated with Rwanda. 800,000 people died and two million were expelled when the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi escalated in 1994. The children particularly are still suffering to this date from the consequences of war. According to information from Unicef, approximately 600,000 children are growing up in extreme poverty. Many of them have to survive alone without parents in “children’s households”.

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Hearing loss due to malaria

Quinine still continues to be part of the standard therapy for malaria. An inexpensive and widespread medication – but with a major disadvantage: many people are unaware that in the wrong dosage quinine can adversely affect hearing ability and even cause deafness. Thus, an above-average number of inhabitants in Uganda are affected by hearing loss.

Living without seeing and hearing

In a short film jointly financed by the  Hear the World Foundation, the Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SZB) provides information on the living situation of deaf-blind people in Switzerland. It is the first Swiss study on this topic.

Audiological care for Appalachia

In conjunction with the Red Bird Mission, the Hear the World Foundation cares for people with hearing loss in Appalachia, one of the poorest regions in the USA. It is supported by acousticians who perform hearing tests and fit hearing aids at no charge.

Growing up independently

The Swiss parents' organization SVEHK organizes an annual meeting for children with hearing loss and their parents. The main focus is on exchanging experiences with others who are affected. The  Hear the World Foundation supported the occasion.

Investing prize money in building project

The Centro de Identificación de la Hipoacusia Infantil offers hearing tests, diagnosis and treatment for babies and small children in the northern province of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Its commitment was rewarded by the Richard Seewald Award in 2009. The prize money was invested in the construction of a modern facility.

Royal support

Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan has made the Al-Amal-School for children with hearing loss an affair of the heart. She would like to improve the learning environment to offer the children an optimal future. To enable this goal to be achieved the school was supplied with hearing aids and FM systems.

Individual and sustained learning

Without the ability to hear,  life in poverty is almost pre-programmed for children in Mauritius. That's where the Gonzague Pierre Louis Special Learning Center intervenes and helps children and young people with restricted hearing and seeing abilities. The Hear the World Foundation financed the school's extension.

Listening as a vision

The aim in the Dominican Grimley School for Kinder with reduced hearing in Cape Town (South Africa) is for every student to learn to listen. To this end, the  Hear the World Foundation equipped the school with FM systems and 28 children received the corresponding hearing aids.

Prevention is better than cure

A concept in the shape of the “Sound Sense Program” was developed in 2005, in order to create awareness among children at primary schools in Canada of the protection of their hearing and to warn them of the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. For this purpose, the initiators travel through the entire country with the support of the Hear the World Foundation, to ensure that the “iPod generation” can preserve their hearing.

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Fight against hearing loss

Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, which is why the care of people with hearing loss is poor. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and thanks to the Foundation's support, the Sound Seekers organization improves the Zambia Hark program of hearing test, diagnosis and treatments.

Perceiving pitch levels better via software

The University of Canterbury has developed a computer-aided training program for perceiving tone pitches. This is intended to serve people with hearing aids or cochlear implants. The Foundation was also involved in the software development.

Inaudible drums

The "Silent Drum" film project receives financial support from the  Hear the World Foundation and wants to transport the audience to a world of silence and African sounds. The film is intended to raise awareness about the situation of children with hearing loss in a developing country.

Proceeds from pigs

The proceeds from an auction of artfully designed lucky pigs in Zurich (Switzerland) was invested in a development project in Namibia. The money goes to the support group of the "CLaSH" organization, which supports children with hearing loss.

Reduced hearing at the workplace

Those affected often conceal their hearing loss at the workplace. Researchers at the Université de Montréal & University of Western Ontario investigated the reasons behind this. To enable the study to be initiated they received financial support from the Hear the World Foundation.

Winner of the Richard Seewald Award

The Brazilian organization Sorocaba Association for Hearing Impaired received the first Richard Seewald Award, endowed with USD 20,000, in 2008. It won it for its commitment to research on reduced hearing in children. The organization also offers residents of São Paulo adequate and affordable audiological care.

Free spirit knows no bounds

Despite suffering from the Usher Syndrome, US American Bill Barkeley knows no bounds. He is realizing his dreams, with the aim of raising awareness for his illness. To this end, the Hear the World Foundation provided the passionate adventurer with special hearing aids and FM systems.

Sonorous music on steel

The Landenhof Project shows that people with reduced hearing can still have musical talent. The school's steel band promotes communal music playing of the children and young people who are hard of hearing. The band received financial support in the form of three new drums.

Hearing better, learning better

The Moscow kindergarten of the GOU-Center Doschkolnoe Detstvo was equipped with state-of-the-art hearing and FM systems. Auxiliary aid allows the children with reduced hearing to improve their auditive abilities more rapidly and easily, which benefits their speech development.

 

 

Music in the ears as never before

Hearing music for the first time - this happens to most people when they are still babies. For 29 Eritrean children and young people with severe hearing loss, music was the biggest highlight when they received their hearing aids. The  Hear the World Foundation made this possible in collaboration with the SUKE Organization.