Staefa, Switzerland, December 19, 2016
The Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova initiative, supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world since 2006. So far the Swiss foundation has supported over 80 projects in 39 countries, helping thousands of people to hear better. It has received support from Bryan Adams and over 100 celebrity ambassadors, as well as from 1,000 Sonova employee volunteers. To mark its tenth anniversary, many of Sonova’s 13,000-plus employees have posted photos of themselves on social media. Each of them striking the Hear the World pose for conscious hearing and using the hashtag #weareheartheworld.
Since its establishment, the Hear the World Foundation has supported over 80 projects worldwide with funding, expertise, and hearing technology worth over CHF 8 million. For example, in 2015 alone, more than 500 children around the world received the chance to hear and 24,000 people in the Domincan Republic were so far provided audiological care. “The value of our support for projects goes far beyond the financial aspect,” explains President of the Hear the World Foundation and Sonova CEO Lukas Braunschweiler. “By using the latest hearing technology and sharing our Sonova employees’ knowledge with local project team members, we create long-term added value.”
Supported by more than 100 celebrity ambassadors
In addition to its development work, the foundation has successfully drawn attention to the importance of good hearing and the consequences of hearing loss through its global awareness campaign. The initiative is backed by over 100 celebrity ambassadors such as Plácido Domingo, Cindy Crawford, Sting, Annie Lennox, and Kate Moss who were all photographed by Bryan Adams in the pose for conscious hearing. “The work that the Hear the World Foundation is doing is second to none,” says Adams, “they're helping people of all ages to hear again, which is why I have been supporting its awareness campaign with my photography for over ten years.”
1,000 Sonova employees spent more than 10,000 hours volunteering
As well as support from these prominent figures, the foundation also highly values the Sonova employee volunteers. It’s the volunteers who work to build up the necessary audiological knowledge in projects all around the world and make a significant contribution to sustainable hearing care. Since 2013, more than 1,000 employees have contributed their time and expertise for more than 10,000 hours, working on site at projects in various countries and raising funds for the foundation.
A great many of Sonova’s 13,000-plus employees around the world have shown their ongoing commitment during the international social media campaign to celebrate the tenth anniversary. As official ambassadors for conscious hearing, they have been spreading the message of the Foundation by posting photos of themselves in the Hear the World pose and using the hashtag #weareheartheworld.
A glimpse into the future: expanding the commitment
The Hear the World Foundation plans to extend its commitment to people with significant hearing loss by also donating cochlear implants for those who receive little or no benefit from hearing aids. Moreover, the foundation plans to send more Sonova employees to volunteer on projects, to help reinforce knowledge transfer, and to help more people help themselves.