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Media release

CHF 2.58 million for people in need with hearing loss

Staefa, Switzerland, May 17, 2017
In the 2016/17 fiscal year, the Hear the World Foundation provided CHF 2.58 million to support 23 aid projects around the world, helping people in need with hearing loss. Compared with the previous year, the value of the foundation’s donations thus increased by 40 percent. The foundation also donated cochlear implants to disadvantaged children for the first time – a milestone in the foundation’s ten-year history.

The past fiscal year was a success for the Hear the World Foundation in a number of ways: It was able to donate 40 percent more resources (CHF 2.58 million) to its 23 aid projects in 22 countries than in the previous year (2015/16: CHF 1.86 million). “As a leading provider of hearing solutions, Sonova envisions a world where everybody can enjoy the delight of hearing and therefore live  a life without limitations. The Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova corporate foundation, is also making this vision a reality for people in need,” says Lukas Braunschweiler, President of the Hear the World Foundation and CEO of Sonova. Last year, the foundation donated more hearing technology and provided more expert support than in the previous year: Sonova employees helped to professionally fit over 1,200 hearing aids, install wireless microphone systems, and successfully activate the first cochlear implants (CIs) donated by the foundation.

Milestone: Hearing despite profound hearing loss

It was a moving moment when Jozmar (4), Alejandro (4), and Ivana (3) – three children in need from Panama – were able to hear their mothers’ voices for the first time in their lives after their CIs were successfully activated. They are the first children to be provided with hearing implants in the history of the Hear the World Foundation, which stretches back over ten years. This is a milestone for the foundation’s work, as CIs enable even people with profound hearing loss to hear. The three children now have the chance to learn to speak, attend school, and later lead an independent life. Donating CIs is particularly challenging for the Hear the World Foundation because it does not just strive to successfully implant and activate the CIs, but also to provide sustainable audiological follow-up care.

This requires local specialists and resources that are often lacking in the countries in question. In the 2016/17 fiscal year, the foundation thus also stepped up its investment in professional support and sent some 40 experts – all Sonova employees – to visit projects. “With their voluntary work, our employees build the necessary local expertise, allowing us to guarantee the provision of long-term audiological care and also create local jobs – a key element of the foundation’s effective work,” explains Braunschweiler. With this knowledge transfer, the Hear the World Foundation ensures that the resources used can be as helpful as possible, including in the long term, ensuring sustainable audiological comprehensive care.

Further information about our last year's engagement can be found in the activity report 2016/17.
Further information about the first cochlear implant donation you find here.