Funding Priorities

Hearing loss prevention and care of children with hearing loss

Since 2006, the Hear the World Foundation has been committed to improving the quality of life and promoting equal opportunities for people in need with hearing loss around the world. All the while, we concentrate on the following four funding priorities:

Children

Our engagement focuses on providing audiological care for children from low-income countries. This is because children with untreated hearing loss in those regions have little access to audiological care. Moreover, if they cannot hear, they will not be able to learn to talk, to develop normally for their age, or to attend school. Children with untreated hearing loss are often socially marginalized and unable to learn a profession, so they have scant future prospects.

Children still have their whole lives ahead of them. By supporting programs for children, we improve these conditions, give these children access to speech and education, and thus enable them to live a life without limitations. Here, the following aspects are key: 

  • Establishment and expansion of newborn hearing screening programs
  • Hearing tests for infants and school children
  • Provision of hearing solutions and continuous follow-up care for children with hearing loss 
  • Communication therapy to aid the development of speech skills 

Professional training

By investing in local professionals, we establish the necessary resources locally, so the population will no longer have to rely on foreign specialists for audiological care. We also create local skilled jobs. For this purpose, we fund:

  • Training, education and development of local resources in audiology
  • Training for clinic staff and teachers who deal with children with hearing loss

Prevention of hearing loss

Among children, 60 percent of all cases of hearing loss can be avoided with preventative measures. Viral diseases (e.g. rubella or cytomegalovirus), chronic middle ear infections and incorrect dosages of medication are the main factors behind the development of preventable hearing impairments. That is why we fund:

  • Measures to improve medical and audiological basic care
  • Campaigns to provide information and raise awareness about hearing loss prevention

Parents and families

Parents and families play an important role in the support of children with hearing loss. This is because their hearing aids need to be checked regularly and their speech development must be actively stimulated. Parents are the most important source of emotional support in the children’s everyday life. Wherever there is a lack of qualified communication therapists, parents also have a key role to play in speech stimulation. It is often also essential to provide parents with basic information about hearing loss.

We fund initiatives that enable parents to support their children:

  • Production of informative/explanatory material like guides, newsletters and brochures
  • Information events, such as training sessions, conferences and parent evenings
  • Networking events that give parents opportunities to share their experiences