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Better hearing for a better future

The situation for many children in the Pacific island of Kiribati is difficult. The Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs cares for children who need extra support. Among these are also children with hearing loss. Thanks to the support of the Hear the World Foundation they receive professional ear medical care.

Place & Year

Kiribati, 2015-2020


Technology Funding

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.

The small town of Kiribati, with just over 100,000 inhabitants, consists of numerous islands that are situated in the Pacific, north and south of the equator – almost exactly between Hawaii and Australia. At first glance it is a real paradise with dreamy beaches and coral reefs. The reality, however, is quite different for many inhabitants: around 90 percent of people are unemployed, the drinking water is contaminated and there is a shortage of food.

The Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs is the only establishment on the island of Kiribati that cares for children who require extra support. The school’s vision: all the children should have access to education – even those from a poor background.


One third of the pupils with hearing loss

Around 60 of the 180 pupils have a hearing loss. Not treating hearing loss can have serious consequences for children: apart from difficulties in learning to speak, they have limited educational opportunities and are often ostracised from the society.

Earmedical care for all children with hearing loss

The Hear the World Foundation has been supporting the Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs since 2015 by providing hearing aids and batteries for all children with hearing loss, giving children the opportunity to learn to speak and follow lessons. Hear the World also provides the audiological equipment urgently needed for hearing tests and to fit hearing aids.


The trip to Kiribati was an unbelievable experience. It was great to see how many children with hearing loss we were already able to help. But there’s still a lot to do – especially in terms of educating people about the issue on site.»
Annemarie Lindner, volunteer from Phonak Australia

Volunteers share their knowledge with local staff

In order to continuously develop the hearing healthcare on site, Sonova employees visit the school as volunteers. They conduct hearing tests, fit hearing aids and pass on their audiological knowledge to the local employees. In this way, the teachers learn how they can best teach pupils with hearing loss and support them in using their hearing aids. After all, the lives of the children with hearing loss can only be improved in a lasting way through improving the local expertise.