Marc Sway, the half-Brazilian and half-Swiss musician became a Hear the World ambassador in 2017. In May, he visited one of the foundation's projects in São Paulo to give hope to children with hearing loss. In June, his songs filled the hearts of the guests at the Hear the World Charity Gala, helping to collect funds for the foundation. And he also raises awareness of the importance of good hearing among his fans at his concerts. In an interview with Hear the World, he shared more about his motivation.
What does hearing mean to you?
I believe that hearing and listening are some of the essential skills of a musician. After all, as a musician, I listen, see, and feel with my hearing. If I wasn't able to hear, I wouldn’t be able to practice my profession and live out my passion for music. It's therefore important for me to take care of my hearing. And that's why I support the work of the Hear the World Foundation, which enables people around the world to hear better.
Have you ever experienced hearing loss?
As a musician, I am highly sensitive to sounds and notice the smallest changes. Alcohol and stress, for example, have an effect on hearing and perceiving. In my profession, stress in particular is an issue and a major challenge, as hearing has an immediate response when stress is prevalent and the scales are no longer balanced.
Why do you support the work of the Hear the World Foundation?
Hearing and music are my family, so to speak – I have a close relationship with them. That's why I chose to support the good cause of the foundation. I appreciate Hear the World’s work because they not only support projects with funds but also with hearing technology and expertise from its initiator Sonova, the leading provider of hearing solutions. Sonova employees from all around the world support the corporate foundation, working on site in projects, building up sustainability by sharing their audiological knowledge with local project staff. For me, building capacity, like the foundation does, is the only right approach to support projects. The training the local project staff receives helps them to in the future take care of the projects by themselves. Many people at Sonova embody this idea with passion - you can feel it.
How would you pitch the Hear the World Foundation’s cause to its target audience and encourage them to donate?
Some people don't listen because they don't want to, others because they can’t. The Hear the World Foundation helps people in need, and particularly children with hearing loss, around the world to better hear. Support us in giving others the gift of hearing.
In May, you visited a project in Brazil. What did you particularly like about your visit?
The passion. The way the local project staff offered their help untiringly and with all their heart was admirable. It showed me that the human element is just as important as the hearing technology. Because at the end of the day, empathy, a keen instinct for people’s needs and the motivation to support disadvantaged children and their parents from the diagnosis process and fitting the hearing aids right through to speech therapy are all crucial to the success of hearing. Psychology and care play a far greater role than people think. And I could feel the passion of the project staff for their mission during my stay at the project in São Paolo.
What did the visit trigger for you?
Thankfulness and humility. I am always amazed to see how carefree the children are about their hearing loss. For them, it’s not as great a hindrance as it is for us adults. For example, many children sang for their first time with me without any shyness. That was a touching experience, which I will never forget. And this ease the children have shown, made me realize that many things are possible if one does not fear.