September was an exciting month for the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Asia Pacific Regional team. We ran our first ever solo mission
, in Cambodia. The regional team was made up of Hearing Care Coordinators from the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. We were also lucky enough to have a volunteer from Melbourne, who assisted at the otoscopy station for 5 days.
During the Phase 1 mission in Kompong Speu, we successfully helped 680 patients. The community of Kompong Speu Province is largely made up of subsistence rice farmers and is rather poor. From a service delivery point of view, this province is in great need of assistance and the services the Starkey Hearing Foundation provide were very well received.
Of the 680 patients, around 80% were adults and 20% were children, all were so grateful to be seen by the team. The weather in Cambodia is extremely hot and humid during September and this added to the long days the team faced. We persevered and kept the patients and their needs front of mind- to get the job done and to help those who might otherwise not have the gift of hearing.
Red Cross Cambodia is our partner in Cambodia and they assisted us enormously. They provided a very eager and energetic group of student volunteers who helped on all 4 missions and set up days and who made the mission very enjoyable by integrating into the team seamlessly.
We were visited by the National Prime Minister’s son, who was very impressed by our set up, the team’s knowledge and skill set and commitment to the patients of the Province. He has committed to assist us in May 2017 during our Phase 2 mission. We will be fitting the patients we saw in Kompong Speu Province as well as children from local deaf schools in Phnom Pehn. In total we will be aiming to assist approximately 1500 patients in May 2017. The Phase 2 mission will be made up of both the Starkey Hearing Foundation international and regional teams.
When I think of the Asia Pacific Regional team, I truly feel like a very proud mother hen, whose chicks flew the coup and soared - we had an excellent mission, we worked hard, we assisted patients in need and we kept in mind our Founder’s motto:
‘Alone we can’t do much, together we can change the world.’
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.