media release

Foundation extends its commitment

Staefa, Switzerland, October 12, 2012

The Hear the World Foundation becomes a strategic initiative of Sonova, the leading Swiss manufacturer of innovative hearing care solutions. The foundation extends its commitment to providing care for all types of hearing loss. In future, employees will also be actively involved in the foundation’s work. Along with the repositioning the Hear the World Foundation now has a new visual identity and a new web presence. 

The foundation is becoming a strategic initiative of the Sonova Group

“We feel that we have a considerable social responsibility towards everyone who is affected by hearing loss. By supporting the Hear the World Foundation, we are helping to create a world where hearing is valued and protected and everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing,” explains Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova and President of the Board of the Hear the World Foundation. “Hear the World is a unique success story in our industry. That is why we are extending our commitment to the whole Sonova group and will therefore have the opportunity to commit ourselves more fully and reach even more people,” Braunschweiler adds.The hearing aid manufacturer and core Sonova brand Phonak established the charitable Hear the World Foundation in 2006. So far over 45 projects on all five continents have been supported technologically and financially to the sum of CHF 2.27 million. The commitment is now being extended further. For example, in future there will be programs to enable Sonova employees to actively get involved in the foundation’s work. In addition, there are plans to expand the initiative’s commitment to hearing implants. In this way, the foundation is making an important contribution towards realizing Sonova’s vision to create a world in which everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing.

The Hear the World Foundation’s new role is also reflected in a new visual profile and online presence (www.hear-the-world.com).

Worldwide commitment to better hearing

Hearing loss remains an underestimated issue, although the figures speak for themselves: 630 million people worldwide are affected by hearing loss [1]; about half of these cases could be avoided by prevention [2]. Around 665,000 children [3] are born with significant hearing loss each year and the consequences are severe: children with untreated hearing loss struggle to learn to talk and therefore, especially in developing countries, only have a limited chance of receiving an education and developing at a rate appropriate to their age.

The key areas of the foundation’s work

One of the key areas of the work of the Hear the World Foundation is providing medical treatment for disadvantaged children with hearing loss. In addition, the foundation is involved in areas such as prevention and information, science and research, training and professional development for audiologists and providing self-help groups for parents. Sustainability and the transition from help to self-help are decisive selection criteria for all projects supported.

[1]  Source: WHO, The global burden of disease: 2004 update (2008)
[2]  Source: WHO, Factfile Deafness (2006)
[3]  Source: Unicef (2004)