Reflections on Our Recent Hearing Missions

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is what makes Starkey employees proud to work for Starkey. We are fortunate enough to not only help underprivileged people regain some of their hearing, but also to work alongside incredible volunteers who passionately ensure the sustainability of the program in their local communities. 

 

Asia Pacific is our latest outreach area, the team is headed up by Megan Baiocchi, the International Development Director for Asia-Pacific. It is a region with huge need, large populations and lots of heart. 

 

So far this year, thanks to Megan and the team, a little over a thousand hearing aids have been successfully donated and fitted to communities within Vietnam, Samoa and American Samoa.

 

Samoa & American Samoa:

American Samoa, is a tiny island in the Pacific. With a population of around 60,000 people land size of just 32kms, it is the Foundation’s 42nd sustainable program.

 

Both Samoa's with their picturesque scenery and gentle giant people, warmly welcomed the team with coconuts and lavalavas (traditional skirts). Lavalavas are truly the only way to dress in the Pacific, they are colourful, light and breezy. Lots of fresh coconut juice is the best way to stay hydrated in the humid Pacific heat.

 

Approximately 500 hearing aids were donated to the islands of Samoa - the local people embraced the team with affection and gratitude.

 

Vietnam:

Ho Chi Minh is a city of 9 million people and 6 million scooters. Amongst the noise and traffic, we were lucky enough to find a stand out local team. The local team is comprised of four volunteers. These volunteers work tirelessly to ensure sustainability in both major cities.

 

The Vietnamese Hearing Care Coordinators and local students dedicate their time to call patients over the phone to conduct AfterCare, troubleshooting potential issues with the patients, and informing them of the location of the next AfterCare service center.

 

Over 300 children were fitted in Ho Chi Minh City in May - these children are followed up to ensure that their hearing aids are being worn both at school and at home. The local Vietnamese team is trained and supported to assist teachers with ensuring that the children wear their hearing aids on a daily basis.

 

Phillipines: 

“Its More Fun in the Philippines!” The slogan is certainly true, the Philippines is by far the strongest and largest program in the Asia Pacific region. Since 2012 we have fitted approximately 25,000 patients with hearing aids. With 20 trained Hearing Care Coordinators, the Philippines is on track to be the number one Foundation program in the world!

 

AfterCare is done monthly and in Manila, with over 10,500 patients it is done weekly. The care, compassion and dedication that the Philippines’ team demonstrates is an example of Mr. and Mrs. Austin’s long term vision for the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

 

Where to next?

Starkey Hearing Foundation has upcoming missions planned within the Asia pacific region to Cambodia and Indonesia. These missions will serve a total of 7,000 patients! 

 

We are so humbled by local communities and local volunteers - by their heart and dedication and desire to help. The missions carried out in the Asia Pacific region are something we are proud to be part of and development in this region has only just begun. 

 

If you would like to help support the missions the Starkey Hearing Foundation undertakes, you can do so by donating your old hearing aids to your local Audiology Clinic. Find out who is closest to you here. We accept hearing aids regardless of age, make or model. These hearing aids will be salvaged for parts to build new hearing aids to be used on future missions.

 

You can also donate directly to the Foundation here.

By Starkey Australia

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