Stäfa, Switzerland — In 2006, Hear the World, a global hearing health awareness initiative created by Phonak, was launched. Their goal was to make the general public aware of the importance of good hearing and the consequences of hearing loss, as well as to inform them about prevention and solutions. Five years later, that mission is still going strong.

Since its initial launch, Phonak has enlisted over 50 celebrity ambassadors around the world to support the mission of Hear the World. Plácido Domingo, Sting, Take That, Bobby McFerrin, Lenny Kravitz, Annie Lennox, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, and Julianne Moore are among the many celebrities who have supported Hear the Word as ambassadors. All have been photographed by the rock legend and photographer Bryan Adams with a hand cupped behind the ear, a pose synonymous with conscious hearing.

In addition to the Foundation’s 5-year anniversary, Hear the World magazine, a lifestyle magazine dedicated to the subject of hearing, is celebrating an anniversary with the publication of its 20th issue.

Some highlights from the Foundation’s last 5 years include the 2008 and 2009 “Hear the World Ambassadors” series of exhibitions with installations in New York, Berlin, Zurich and London. In 2010, the first charity gala in aid of the Hear the World Foundation was held in Berlin, raising around EUR 50,000 in donations.

The events also provided the setting for the presentation of the Hear the World Awards for special services relating to the issue of hearing and hearing loss.

For 2011, the upcoming CHANCES photo exhibition in Hamburg will be another highlight for hearing loss in the third world. Following the formal opening with celebrity guests on November 16, 2011, photos taken as part of an aid project in Nairobi run by the Hear the World Foundation will be on display in the Flo Peters Gallery until November 27. The proceeds from the sale of the photographs will go directly to the Foundation.

The Hear the World Foundation has also been focused on providing support for children with hearing loss, to enable them to develop at an appropriate rate for their age. Thus, the Foundation is currently supporting projects in 12 countries worldwide. The support provided since 2006, which now totals more than a million Swiss francs ($1,135,590), comes in the form of financial aid or in the implementation of teams working locally.

Among those who have offered their birthday congratulations is Bryan Adams, who, having been a supporter of the initiative right from the start, has made a substantial contribution to the success of Hear the World through his photography: “As a musician, I’m naturally sympathetic to a cause like Hear the World which is dedicated to helping people appreciate and preserve an individual’s sense of sound. Through my photography, I have been able to support this cause and to know that images of artists are being used to convey the message of improvement of hearing for those impaired, makes the Hear the World photos we do together so much stronger. The personal highlights in my five years working with the foundation are many and I am looking forward to many more successful years helping Hear the World to spread its word. Happy Birthday Hear the World!”

“I would like to take this opportunity to express special thanks to all our supporters for their huge level of commitment. Together we have achieved a great deal since the launch of Hear the World, and have been able to make it clear to many people just how important good hearing is for their lives,” says Alexander Zschokke, Interim CEO of Phonak and founder of Hear the World. “But the need for awareness is still as great now as before. And for this reason, we will approach the next five years with plenty of vigor and new ideas. There is still so much to do!”

A full overview of the Foundation’s work can be found at

SOURCE: Hear the World Foundation