The HEAR Haiti project aims to provide sustainable support for the people of Lévèque, a town nestled on the central west coast of the country. Established after the 2010 earthquake, Lévèque is home to more than 160 deaf families. The purpose of the Hear Haiti project is to ensure that the hearing impaired children of Lévèque and their families have access to audiological care and speech therapy.

Place & Year

Leveque, Haiti, since 2012

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.

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 the Haiti Deaf Academy in Lévèque has set up the project HEAR HAITI to ensure early diagnosis and sustainable audiological care is provided for children with hearing loss.

A home for children with hearing loss

The Academy locates deaf children living in remote areas or small communities who have no language or opportunity for education or whose parents don’t have the financial means to look after them. The school Educators are often members of the deaf community who provide language development, academic education, vocational training and job placement.

When we first came here many of the children didn’t even know their names. Now they are able to communicate.»
Cathy Jones, project leader Hear Haiti

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 employees are now putting into practice together with the local team. Dedicated teams of around 12 volunteers travel to Lévèque several times a year to spend a week conducting hearing screenings, fitting hearing aids, seeing follow-ups on children who have already been fitted, and repairing broken hearing devices. They also train local staff to ensure that they can provide long-term audiological care on site and ultimately 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, a Sonova employee in the US stated “This trip has reminded me why I became an audiologist – to help people!”