The Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people and particularly children with hearing loss around the world. Since its establishment in 2006, the Swiss foundation has provided thousands of people with hearing care. The volunteering by Sonova employees plays a key role for the foundations work. Thanks to these engagements, the necessary audiological knowledge can be transfered to projects around the globe and thus a sustainable hearing healthcare program can be ensured.
Since the first volunteering in 2013, hundreds of Sonova employees have contributed their time and expertise on site at projects in various countries. To mark its tenth anniversary, we share some of the most touching moments.
Together with four other Sonova volunteers Crystal Variava working for Sonova India visited the HEAR India project which supports students of the school for hearing impaired in a rural part of South India. The aims of the project: to ensure that all children receive digital hearing aids, to train local experts in basic audiological care and to give children access to speech therapy.
See more about Crystal’s volunteer experience:
Annemarie Lindner who works for Sonova Australia and is an employee representative in the Advisory Board of the Hear the World Foundation visited the Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs. During her stay she conducted hearing screenings, fitted hearing aids and shared her expertise in audiology with the local staff.
"The trip to Kiribati was an unbelievable experience. It was great to see how many children with hearing loss we were already able to help. But there’s still a lot to do – especially in terms of educating people about the issue on site." (Annemarie Lindner)
Kelli Billups, Advanced Bionics USA and Susan Honaker, Connect Hearing USA both visited the project supported by the Hear the World foundation HEAR Haiti. The aim of the project: to provide the children with hearing loss and their families in Lévèque access to audiological care and speech therapy. During their visits, the two volunteers conducted hearing screenings, fitted hearing aids, did follow up care and also repaired faulty hearing aids.
The visit leaves a lasting impression on both of them:
Stacey Rich working at Sonova headquarters in Switzerland is an employee representative in the Advisory Board of the Hear the World Foundation representative in the Advisory Board of the Hear the World Foundation. In this role she supports the foundation in choosing the right Sonova volunteers for the diverse volunteer trips worldwide. In July 2016 she visited the partner project with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in Vietnam. Together with another volunteer in only one week, she trained 22 technicians in audiology, in conducting hearing screenings and in fitting hearing aids. 22 children were also fit with new hearing aids during the visit.
Stacey talks about her engagement for Hear the World:
Christiane Schubert, Sonova Germany visited the project HEAR Armenia – a collaboration of the Children’s Hospital Zurich and the most important children’s hospital in Armenia, the Arabkir Hospital. Since 2010 the Hear the World Foundation supports this project with hearing technology, funding and expertise. Christiane conducted hearing screenings, fitted hearing aids and shared her knowledge to the local staff.
„My engagement for the HEAR Armenia project has left a lasting impression. It was very impressive to see how well the cooperation between the Children’s Hospital Zurich and the Arabkir Hospital works. Thanks to the continuous knowledge transfer many children could be fitted with hearing aids since the beginning of the collaboration. To get to know the children and their backgrounds, was wonderful.“ (Christiane Schubert)