media release

gift of hearing to three Moldovan girls


Staefa, Switzerland, August 21, 2012

Annually, more than 660,000 children throughout the world are born with reduced hearing – many of them in developing countries. Via the “52 Children” Project, the Swiss Hear the World Foundation has been supporting disadvantaged children with hearing loss and has been supplying them with new, high-quality Phonak hearing aids since 2010. Free after-care in the country of origin is also assured. Three Moldovan girls aged 10 and 11 thus received new hearing aids free of charge in St. Gallen on August 4th, 2012.  

Over 660,000 children throughout the world are born with significantly reduced hearing annually. Children in developing countries with hearing loss often have no chance of receiving medical and audiological care. The consequences of untreated hearing loss are serious: Without good hearing, children experience difficulties in learning the language as well as deficits in development in line with their age group. “Hearing aids allow these children not only to communicate and integrate themselves in society, but also help them to follow lessons better and to achieve their learning potential. That’s why the Hear the World Foundation supports needy persons and especially children with hearing loss all over the world”, says Lukas Braunschweiler, president of the Hear the World Foundation and CEO of Sonova. 

Lasting hearing care assured

Via the “52 Children” project, the Hear the World Foundation enables up to 52 disadvantaged children all over the world to hear better every year. These children not only have their hearing aids fitted at no charge, they also receive lasting and professional follow-up care from a local representative or a partner of the Swiss hearing aid manufacturer, Phonak, in their country of origin after their fitting in Switzerland. 

Hearing aids for three girls from Moldova

Three Moldovan girls were supplied with hearing aids in the Neuroth Hearing Centre in St. Gallen/Switzerland on August 4th, 2012. Maria, Irina and Michaela are 11 and 10 years old and come from Cahul in Southern Moldova. Owing to difficult family circumstances, all three girls live in a boarding school. Irina and Maria were both born with hearing loss, Michaela suffered from meningitis (inflammation of the cerebral membrane) as a small child, which caused her to lose her hearing. The girls are presently taking part in a two-week medical camp, organised by the Swiss Foundation swisscor, in the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Trogen/Appenzell.

Global commitment

The Hear the World Foundation was founded by the Swiss hearing aid manufacturer, Phonak, in 2006, with the aim of supporting children with hearing loss globally, in order to allow them to develop in keeping with their age group. The Hear the World Foundation advocates equal opportunities and increased quality of life for people, and especially children, with hearing loss throughout the world. To this end, the foundation involves itself via financial resources and the provision of hearing aids. Notably promoted are projects that support children with hearing loss, in order to allow them to develop in keeping with their age group.

1 UNICEF 2004.