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Dear readers,

Good hearing is a reality for most of us. However, for about 466 million people with hearing loss worldwide, this is not the case – especially not for those living in low- to middle-income countries. Audiological care in these regions is often impacted by deficits in the healthcare system. For children in particular, untreated hearing loss can have serious consequences: if these children are unable to hear, they might not learn to speak or only learn to speak to a limited extent, can become socially isolated, and often have little chance of getting an education.

That is why we support aid projects around the world and provide disadvantaged children with access to audiological care, hearing solutions, and auditory-verbal therapy – thereby improving their prospects for the future. The achievements of our partner project CORAL in Mexico in fall 2019 are just one example.

The training of hearing care providers is another pillar of the Foundation’s work. By providing our project partners with specialist knowledge, we invest in local audiological care that will no longer be dependent on foreign help in the long term. In 2019, for example, we made it possible for three Foundation project team members from Ukraine, Kenya, and Lebanon to attend advanced training at the reputed Academy of Hearing Aid Acoustics in Lübeck, Germany.

As well as ensuring that children with hearing loss have access to first-class audiological care, it is important to us that they also receive speech and language support. Since there is a shortage of auditory-verbal therapists in most of the project countries, we hold informational events for parents where they can learn how to support their child’s speech and language development.

We are particularly proud of projects that we have been involved in for a long time and where we are achieving a great deal through integral support – for example in the Dominican Republic. Thanks to our engagement, people from all walks of life have access to first-class audiological care. This is also the case for little Venus, who was born with severe hearing loss and who, thanks to hearing aids, now has completely new prospects for the future.

We are proud of what we have achieved this year. We will continue to do everything we can to make our vision of a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing a reality. As the new President of the Hear the World Foundation, I am delighted to be able to make a personal commitment toward this goal. It is very important to me to achieve maximum impact with our efforts and resources. That is why we are continuously striving to enhance our project portfolio, to assess the impact of our efforts, and to generally improve the quality of our work.

In the next few months, however, the most important action will be to assist our project partners with the challenges they face due to the coronavirus crisis. For many of them, the associated restrictions mean that their work cannot be continued or can only be continued with great difficulty. Where possible, we will help our partners to find creative and practical solutions to overcome these obstacles. 

As you can see, despite the current challenges, we are motivated as we start the new fiscal year, and are delighted that you are continuing to support us.

Sincerely,

Arnd Kaldowski
President of the Hear the World Foundation