School children steadily progress
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.
Place & Year
Project PartnersIMEDI – Help for Georgia
School No. 203 was founded 90 years ago. Most of the children educated here come from impoverished families and live in the affiliated boarding house. In recent years the situation at the school has steadily improved, thanks to support from a project run with tremendous motivation by Jürg Krebser from Switzerland and his Georgian wife Ketevan. In classrooms where red light bulbs were once used to indicate the beginning and end of each lesson, hearing aids now enable children to participate in lessons easily and effectively. This method has freed the pupils from their previous isolation. This year, to further encourage their integration into hearing society, a pilot group of five to seven children with hearing loss will attend the newly established “Zitelkuda” kindergarten for the first time, alongside playmates with normal hearing ability. The Hear the World Foundation is providing high-quality digital hearing aids to help with this endeavor. When the time comes for the children to leave kindergarten, they will progress to a mainstream state school.
Cooperating with neighboring Armenia
Almost two years ago, the Swiss-Georgian Krebsers established a partnership with speech therapists Christian and Heidi Heldstab, who are also from Switzerland. The Heldstabs support a clinic in the Armenian capital Yerevan, which is also sponsored by Hear the World as part of the Pediatric Partnership Program run by the University Children’s Hospital Zurich. The partnership enables both organizations to contribute their own experiences and supplement each other’s expertise. For example, Heidi Heldstab published a book entitled “Warum spricht mein Kind nicht?” (“Why doesn’t my child speak?”), which Ketevan Krebser translated into Georgian so it could be used in Georgia too. The partners also jointly organized a conference on the future of pediatric audiology in Georgia and Armenia. If uniform standards can be set for learning methods, workshops and speech therapy, for example, projects will not only be able to operate more efficiently, but raise awareness more quickly and effectively too.