media release

Hear the World Gives 52 Children Gift of Hearing

Hear-the-World-gives-52-children-gift-of-hearing-Hear-the-World-Foundation

Staefa, Switzerland, August 23, 2010

Starting this August, the Foundation will fit a child a week with a hearing aid. The Hear the World Foundation announces the launch of “52 Children,” a worldwide campaign that will provide one child a week with a hearing aid and necessary hearing services to help improve their hearing. As of August, Hear the World has already provided the first three children – two girls from Moldova and a boy from Iraq – with free hearing aids and medical assistance.

About 660,000 children worldwide are born each year with hearing deficiencies. Children in developing countries often do not have access to medical and audiological care, and unfortunately, the consequences of untreated hearing loss are serious: Children with hearing problems have difficulty learning to speak and tend to develop more slowly than appropriate for their age group.

"Hearing aids allow these children not only to communicate and better integrate into society, but also to keep up with their classes in order to realize their full learning potential. With the Hear the World Foundation, we support people in need and particularly children with hearing loss throughout the world," said Ora Bürkli, Member of the Hear the World Foundation Board.

The "52 Children" project will enable the Hear the World Foundation to provide 52 disadvantaged children from around the world with the gift of better hearing. These children will not only receive hearing aids, but professional aftercare will be provided by a local representative or a Phonak partner. In early August, Swiss hearing centers were already able to help the first three children.

Iraqi boy can hear correctly for the first time

Four-year old Dawood from Iraq was born with a head tumor. His hearing is only at about 25 percent, and as a result, he can barely speak. Pediatric hearing aids are in short supply in Iraq, so Dawood could only get an adult hearing aid. This hearing aid was way too heavy for his ear, considerably disturbing the boy's everyday life and most importantly, not improving his hearing to the fullest potential. During his stay in Switzerland with friends from Iraq, the Hear the World Foundation was able to arrange for Dawood to have a number of special diagnostic tests at Zurich’s Children's Hospital, followed by several sessions in a Hearing Centre where he was fitted with new Phonak hearing aids. The boy's father was trained in the use of this modern equipment and the aftercare in Iraq is secured by a local Phonak partner.

Moldovan girls receive free hearing aids

Ecaterina and Liliana are both 13 years old and are from Moldavia. Ecaterina attends a boarding school for orphans in Carpineni, Liliana attends a special school for disabled children. This summer, the girls took part in a two-week camp in the Pestalozzi Children's Village in Trogen/Switzerland, which was organized by a Foundation called swisscor. During their stay in Switzerland, Ecaterina and Liliana were seen by a hearing specialist to assess their hearing. During several sessions in a Hearing Centre in St. Gallen, the girls were fitted with free Phonak hearing aids. They also received instructions on how to use this modern equipment. The aftercare in their home country, Moldova, will be provided by a local Phonak partner.

Submitting worthy projects to the Hear the World Foundation

The Hear the World Foundation is committed to improve the quality of life and promote equal opportunities for people with hearing loss globally. To achieve this, the Foundation provides financial funds, hearing aids and assistive listening technology. The Foundation has a special focus on projects that support children reach their developmental milestones and realize their full potential in life regardless of their hearing loss. Projects that meet such criteria can be submitted to the Hear the World Foundation. The current submission period runs until January 31, 2011.

Application for Funding

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To be able to provide this important and sustainable support to people with hearing loss, the Hear the World Foundation is dependent on donations. Each donation helps disadvantaged people, and particularly children, to have a better quality of life. You can also help! A powerful hearing aid can change the life of a child. It opens up new worlds and helps to shape their educational and career path in a sustainable way.

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