MEDIA RELEASE

$1.6 mio for people with hearing loss

1.6-Mio-Dollars-for-people-with-hearing-loss-Hear-the-World-Foundation

Staefa, Switzerland, May 20, 2014

The Hear the World Foundation is committed to creating a world in which everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing. In the 2013/14 financial year, the Swiss foundation supported 21 projects across 16 countries by providing hearing aids and funding totaling more than $1.6 million. Employees of the Sonova Group who participate in volunteer activities and contribute their own expertise, now comprise an important third pillar of the foundation’s work.

The year’s highlights at a glance

  • $1.6 million in funding to support 21 projects in 16 countries
  • More than 700 hearing aids and FM systems donated and professionally fitted across the world, with follow-up care also provided
  • More than 100 Sonova employees involved in voluntary activities or fundraising projects over the past year

“I am exceptionally pleased that we have further increased our support and that, in doing so, we have been able to rely on the active involvement of our employees all over the world,” said Sarah Kreienbühl, board member on the Hear the World Foundation and Group Vice President of Corporate HRM and Communications, Sonova. “Thanks to their tremendous efforts, we have used our expertise to help a wide range of projects. This kind of assistance is extremely important for enhancing the projects’ effectiveness and sustainability.”

Four key areas for promoting better hearing

Creating a world in which everyone has the chance to enjoy better hearing and live a life without limitations – that is the vision of the Sonova Group, a leading provider of hearing solutions. Sonova sees it as part of its social responsibility to help those who cannot afford or do not have access to the care they need, through the Hear the World Foundation. The foundation bases its activities on key focal areas, such as the provision of audiological care for children with hearing loss. Hearing aids not only allow these children to communicate and integrate into society; they also enable them to receive a school education, which is vital for their professional development later on. The foundation provides aid for families that, for geographical, social or financial reasons, do not have any access to audiological care for their children. Further key areas covered by the foundation’s work include training experts, running schemes to help prevent hearing loss and offering programs for parents and families of children affected by hearing loss.

14 new and six long-standing project partnerships

Out of the large pool of applications submitted to the foundation, 14 new projects across 11 different countries were selected to receive financial support and hearing solutions in the new financial year. The foundation has also extended its cooperation with six existing project partners, successfully building on an established base and further developing a strong medical care network. The Hear the World Foundation intends to continue its commitment to helping people with hearing loss on a comparable scale in the new reporting year.

The Hear the World Foundation’s Activity Report 2013/14

For detailed information about the foundation and its projects, please see the Activity Report 2013/14, which is available online at www.hear-the-world.com. We would also be happy to send you a printed copy at your request.

Hearing loss – a neglected issue with serious consequences

  • Approximately 15% of the world’s adult population is affected by hearing loss.
  • Around half of cases of hearing loss could have been avoided if preventive action had been taken.
  • Every year, some 665,000 children are born with significant hearing loss.
  • 80% of people with hearing loss live in countries where income is low to moderate and often they do not have any access to audiological or medical care.
  • Only one in 40 people with hearing loss wears a hearing aid in developing countries.