As a leading provider of hearing aid technology Sonova envisions a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and therefore lives a life without limitations. It’s corporate foundation Hear the World contributes towards this aim by supporting aid projects benefiting people, and particularly children in need with hearing loss around the world.
About a sixth of adults and 32 million children have significant hearing loss.1 The vast majority of these live in low or middle-income countries with little or no access to hearing care.2 Particularly for children, hearing loss can have a strong impact on the development of language skills and educational as well as job opportunities.
The Hear the World Foundation promotes equal opportunities and better quality of life for people with hearing loss around the world by providing aid projects with financial support, hearing aid technology and expertise. Since its launch in 2006, the Foundation has supported over 80 projects in 39 countries helping thousands of people around the world.
In 2016 Hear the World for the first time in its ten-years history donated cochlear implants from Advanced Bionics to give the gift of hearing also to children with severe to profound hearing loss. Read more about the first cochlear implant donation—a cooperation between Hear the World and Advanced Bionics.
Approximately half of all hearing loss could be prevented if measures are taken early enough.3 For children, 60 percent of hearing loss is preventable, and in low-income countries the figure rises to 75 percent.4 A total of more a billion young people are currently at risk of hearing loss, simply through unsafe listening practices. The Hear the World Foundation actively supports hearing loss prevention through WHO's International World Hearing Day and awareness-raising initiatives, such as the distribution of information about the risks of over-loud music and free earplugs at concerts in Switzerland.
More than 100 celebrity ambassadors have supported the Foundation, posing for portraits taken by musician and photographer Bryan Adams with one hand cupped behind the ear in the Hear the World pose a symbol of conscious hearing. Plácido Domingo, Sting, Tina Turner, Christoph Waltz, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss are just some of the many featured celebrities, all of whom strongly identify with the cause of raising public awareness about the importance of good hearing and the consequences of hearing loss.
Many of Sonova's over 14,000 employees actively support the Hear the World Foundation by contributing their time, skills and knowledge to its worldwide projects. Most remark that the experience of volunteering confirms the dedication to changing lives that made them choose a career in hearing care. Since 2013, more than 1,000 employees have performed over 10,000 hours of voluntary work in projects or through active participation in fundraising events.
If you want to help disadvantaged children with hearing loss around the world, you can make your contribution with a donation. The full amount of the donation goes directly to the Foundation’s project work: Sonova covers all administrative costs. All donations are tax deductible, within the laws and regulations of your country of residency.
For more about the Hear the World Foundation visit: www.hear-the-world.com
Sources: 1: WHO (2008), 1,4: WHO (2016), 2: WHO (2012), 3: WHO (2015)