Volunteering in Zambia
recycling OLD HEARING AIDS
Adrian Sailer, a Sonova employee, and his wife Susanne have been volunteering with the Sound Seekers project in Lusaka, Zambia. Adrian’s goal was to help the local team with organization and logistics. His mission: to sort, test, and clean used hearing aids that clinics had donated to Sound Seekers with the aim to making them fit for use again. Adrian’s wife, a qualified emergency physician, provided support in a Lusaka hospital.
Adrian’s visit to Lusaka began with a sea of plastic bags containing used hearing aids. Together with the Sound Seekers team, he bought boxes and organized everything. Boxes were labelled, shelves were built, and the hearing aids were sorted and stored away. The results can be seen for themselves – thanks to Adrian’s efforts, the various types of hearing aids have now been systematically ordered and stored.
Cleaned and tested ready to be used again
Before the hearing aids could be reused, they needed to be cleaned. A Sound Seekers employee removed all of the dirt and dust – pragmatically getting to work with a toothbrush, cotton swabs and alcohol. Then each hearing aid was individually tested. Adrian showed the local team how Phonak software works so that they will be able to conduct the tests on their own in future. During his time as a volunteer, Adrian helped Sound Seekers to send an impressive 100 hearing aids to each of their partner clinics in Botswana and Zambia.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Adrian is back in Switzerland now and talks enthusiastically about his volunteer work: “My time there was a valuable life experience that I didn’t want to miss out on. I met lots of wonderful people and gained a new perspective in life as well. I’m especially pleased that I was able to make a difference and help people locally. Thank you for the opportunity!”