The Hear the World Foundation, Stafa, Switzerland, will donate EUR 80,000 worth of hearing aids to the pupils of the Al Amal School in Jordan in a project initiated by the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGLs), a multistakeholder community comprised of leaders in various fields and around the globe established by the World Economic Forum.

During the YGL Dead Sea Summit in 2009 in Jordan, the YGLs visited schools that take part in the Madrasati initiative. The initiative, which was created by HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and a chairperson of the Selection Committee of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, aims to repair and restore local schools and make them better learning environments.

As a consequence of their visit to the Al Amal School for the hearing impaired in the Zarqa region, a group of YGLs were inspired to use their network and contact the Hear the World Foundation, resulting in the donation.

“Sometimes the smallest of efforts can have the biggest of impacts,” said Georges Kern, CEO of IWC and a Young Global Leader since 2005. “I have known Valentin Chapero, CEO of Phonak, for a while now, and when visiting the school I immediately saw the connection. The hearing aids will change the lives of these children in a very positive way, and for Hear the World Foundation the school represents an excellent and rewarding project to dedicate its resources to.”

“This kind donation demonstrates two things: one, the power and reach of the YGL network, and what can be achieved when a group of talented and compassionate individuals put their heads together; and two, the kindness and altruism of the Hear the World Foundation," said HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah, in a statement issued by the Foundation. "I can only imagine what these hearing aids will mean to the children of the Al Amal School…the chance to finally be part of the conversation…to enjoy the incidental nuances of life: birdsong, the call to prayer, the laughter of friends. Not to mention what it means for their future job security and personal happiness. For them, the gift of hearing means a fuller, more lyrical life; and for that I know they’re grateful.”

The Hear the World Foundation, founded by Phonak, aims to help prevent hearing loss and support of people with hearing loss and their families. It has been established in the context of Phonak’s Hear the World initiative, which was launched in 2006 to raise awareness about the importance of healthy hearing and the impact of hearing loss. Among its supporters are Plácido Domingo, Annie Lennox, and Mick Jagger.

“I am impressed by the work and commitment of Queen Rania’s Madrasati initiative and we are happy to assist the program’s efforts to enhance opportunities for school children in Jordan by providing hearing aids to the children of the Al Amal School in Jordan,” said Valentin Chapero, CEO of Phonak and president of the Hear the World Foundation.

[Source: Hear the World Foundation]