#hearkenya

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.

Place & Year

Kenya, since 2008

Project Partners

Cargo Human Care

Support

Technology Funding Knowledge

Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

Institutions in which teachers work with the children on an individual basis are needed to enable children with hearing loss to learn to speak and read, providing them with an opportunity to escape the poverty cycle. They receive speech therapy and practice the correct pronunciation of terms with teachers using picture books. The progress that these children achieve never fails to impress. The Hear the World Foundation also supports the project in Nairobi by providing further training, not just for teachers at the school, but also for the parents of the children concerned. There is an urgent need here to equip parents with knowledge and information, as their help and cooperation is crucial to ensuring the optimum support for their children. The aim of the project is to establish a complete network for children with hearing impairments in Kenya’s capital city.

A German physician searching through the slums

Children affected by hearing loss need to be found before they can be given any help – and this is not always a simple matter in Kenya. German ENT specialist Dr. Michaela Fuchs, who offers free consultations and hearing screenings in Nairobi several times a year, takes on the role of detective as she searches for children with untreated hearing loss in the city’s slums. She often comes across children who can hardly speak in the farthest corners of these impoverished towns. It is obvious that hearing loss is not a high priority in places like this, where people have to contend with life-threatening problems such as hunger. Parents usually assume there is no chance that their children can be helped anyway and are also afraid of possible costs that they would not be able to afford. After consulting the parents, Dr. Fuchs takes these children back with her to the medical center, where they are examined and provided with hearing aids if necessary.

Further information on the employee project

Interview with musician Patrick Nuo, ambassador for Hear the World

“Patrick, in May 2011 you visited a project of the Hear the World Foundation in Nairobi. What did you take away from this visit?”
Patrick Nuo: “Not being able to hear properly in a poor country like Kenya is a catastrophe for the children. They do not get any schooling, do not learn to speak, and are socially excluded – so they have no chance of a normal life.”

“Amongst other places, you visited the Joymereen School for the Deaf. What are your impressions of it?”
Patrick Nuo: “It really is a great school. The children are really well looked after there, the teachers are very professional, and the atmosphere is great. What it lacks is professional help for their hearing aids. I am very happy that with Hear the World, we can offer help so that the children get support there.”

“You also visited a slum area: that must have made a big impression.”
Patrick Nuo: “We drove to the Mathare Valley, the second biggest slum in the city. Here too, patients – especially children – are supported by Hear the World. Being there on the ground feels quite different to seeing it on the TV. It really is a big lesson in humility.”