In February 2017, Jennifer Hofmann, HR staff member at Sonova travelled to Blantyre, Malawi, as a Hear The World volunteer. The aim of her trip was to train the new clinic manager, Mirriam, in a variety of computer programs, answer questions about clinic management, and improve existing processes so that the clinic can be managed as efficiently as possible.

From e-mails to employee motivation

Sound Seekers opened a clinic for audiological examinations and rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, in May 2016. During her five-day trip, Jennifer supported the new clinic manager, Mirriam, in a range of matters. They created an Excel spreadsheet together to manage the clinic’s income and expenditure, Jennifer armed Mirriam with tips to motivate the employees such as organizing regular team picnics, and they tackled issues such as filing and inventory lists.

The work in Malawi was an unforgettable experience and it gave me a lot of motivation for my day-to-day work. Volunteering showed me that our vision of creating a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and therefore lives a life without limitations is not just an empty phrase; we really do contribute to improving people’s quality of life.»
Jennifer Hofmann, Hear the World volunteer and Sonova HR Specialist 

Visit to a village

On one of the days, Jennifer had the pleasure of accompanying three audiologists on their visit to a village to fit hearing aids. “The first children started running toward us as soon as we arrived,” said Jennifer. She said that there was a cluster of onlookers shuffling around them while they fitted hearing aids for the villagers with hearing loss. “It was lovely to see how happy they all were to get their hearing aids”, said Jennifer.

Although Jennifer is now back in Switzerland and has returned to her daily work, she has not yet finished helping the clinic: “I promised Mirriam that we would stay in contact and that she could write to me if she had any questions or needed support.”

Find out more about our project with Sound Seekers in Malawi