The Minneapolis-based, high-fidelity earplug manufacturer, Vibes, has joined forces with the charities Hear the World Foundation and World Wide Hearing (WWH) Foundation International to bring access to hearing healthcare to 30,000 children in need in Peru.

The project team: employees working for Vibes and World Wide Hearing and Hear the World volunteers.

The project team: Employees working for Vibes and World Wide Hearing as well as Hear the World volunteers.

There are an estimated 532,000 people with hearing loss in Peru, but the country lacks an accredited training for audiologists and the infrastructure to make hearing screenings accessible. Starting in 2016, the Swiss-based Hear the World Foundation and the Canada-based World Wide Hearing began a hearing screening campaign in schools in Lima to identify school children with hearing loss and provide them with services to improve their ability to hear, listen, and speak. Vibes has a charitable partnership with the Hear the World Foundation, and donates 5% of its revenue to the Swiss nonprofit. About $25,000 of these donations directly funded the Peru campaign with hearing aids and audiological equipment in 2017.

Facts about hearing loss and the project

The Peru hearing screening campaign developed by World Wide Hearing uses mobile technologies and trains local personnel (speech therapy students and teachers) to become audiology technicians. The latter conduct hearing screenings and learn to identify warning signs of hearing impairment. Alongside Peruvian technicians, volunteers from Hear the World Foundation, World Wide Hearing, and Vibes’ employees travelled to Lima to support the screening of over 3,000 school children in November, resulting in over 10,000 children being tested in 2017. By the time the campaign will conclude later in 2018, 30,000 children will have been screened.

Undiagnosed and untreated hearing loss can negatively affect a child’s language, social, and cognitive development. It is associated with lower academic performance, and fewer work opportunities. Early identification and intervention can be life changing. As part of the campaign, children who are screened and identified with hearing loss are given hearing aids as well as follow-up care. The donated hearing aids help connect children to their world, enabling them to break free from social isolation and reach their full potential.

Vibes founder Jackson Mann is testing the hearing of school children with a hearing test app.

Vibes founder Jackson Mann is testing the hearing of school children with a hearing test app.

About the Hear the World Foundation
Founded in 2006 by Sonova, a provider of hearing solutions, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in hearing loss prevention. The Foundation focuses particularly on projects for children with hearing loss, enabling them to develop to their fullest potential. Since its establishment, the nonprofit Swiss foundation has supported over 80 projects in 39 countries with funding, hearing aid technology, and expertise. More than 100 high-profile ambassadors, such as Bryan Adams, Cindy Crawford, Plácido Domingo, Annie Lennox, and Sting support Hear the World as ambassadors for conscious hearing.

Source: Hear the World Foundation

Images/Media: Hear the World Foundation