The Hear the World Foundation is committed to creating a world where everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing. It focuses particularly on providing aid for children with hearing loss, to enable them to develop at the appropriate rate for their age. For example, in the 2012/13 fiscal year, the swiss based foundation supported a total of 18 projects in 15 countries by sup-plying hearing aids, FM systems and financial aid totaling more than 710,000 Swiss francs. Eleven new partnerships were established and the cooperation was extended with five existing partners. Moreover, the Hear the World Foundation has now formed a strong partnership with the company VARTA Microbattery which will enable it to provide free hearing aid batteries of the premium brand power one.
Creating a world where everyone has the chance to enjoy better hearing and live life without constraints – that is the vision of Sonova Group, the leading provider of hearing solutions. Through the Hear the World Foundation, Sonova fulfills its social responsibility to help those who cannot afford or do not have access to hearing health care facilities in their home countries. In the 2012/13 fiscal year, for example, the foundation supported 18 projects across 15 countries by supplying hearing aids, FM systems, batteries and financial aid amounting to more than 710,000 Swiss francs.
Focus on hearing health care for children with hearing loss
“A declared focus of our commitment is on providing hearing health care for children with hearing loss. After all, they are the people we can create better future prospects for by offering them hearing aids along with audiological and medical treatment,” explains Lukas Braunschweiler, President of the Hear the World Foundation and CEO of Sonova. Hearing aids not only enable these children to communicate and integrate into society; they also help them follow lessons in school more easily so they can realize their full learning potential. “With our commitment, we are giving children affected by hearing loss – particularly those in developing countries – the chance of a brighter future,” continues Braunschweiler. The foundation offers aid in places where families do not have any access to audiological care for their children due to geographical, social or financial reasons. The foundation’s work also focuses on areas such as training for audiologists, prevention, and programs designed to provide information for parents.
Five longstanding project partnerships and 11 new ones
Out of the multitude of applications it received, the Hear the World Foundation selected 11 new pro-jects in 11 countries to support through financial aid and the provision of hearing solutions. One such project is in Panama, where local specialists are being offered training and children and young people are being provided with hearing aids fitted by experts. Another initiative being supported by the founda-tion is the program for parents run by the American organization “Hands & Voices,” which aims to ac-tively involve parents of children with hearing loss in improving their children’s speech development.
Sustainable commitment on a global scale
The Hear the World Foundation has also extended its cooperation with five of its existing project part-ners. A sustainable impact rather than a flash in the pan – that is the decisive criterion for all projects supported by the foundation. This means, for example, that donations of hearing aids also include fittings and regular follow-up checks by experts on site, as well as a continuous supply of batteries. That is why the foundation is constantly striving to establish longstanding partnerships. Projects in Malawi, Canada and Armenia are prime examples of its long-term cooperation with local partners. These provide the opportunity to build on an established foundation and create a strong network of medical care providers.
The Hear the World Foundation is particularly pleased to have formed a partnership with VARTA Mi-crobattery, which, from now on, will provide free power one premium hearing aid batteries for all of the foundation’s projects. This will help guarantee comprehensive care for people affected by hearing loss who are often unable to afford the batteries they need.
Hearing loss – a neglected topic with serious consequences:
- Approximately 15% of the world’s population is affected by hearing loss.
- Around half of cases of hearing loss could have been avoided if preventive action had been taken.
- Every year, some 665,000 children are born with significant hearing loss.
- 80% of people with hearing loss live in countries where income is low to moderate and often they do not have any access to audiological or medical care.
- Only one in 40 people with hearing loss wears a hearing aid in developing countries.