APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The Starkey Foundation runs specific missions to regions where support for people with hearing loss is needed. The logistical needs for each mission are incredible and the additional work required to conduct these missions within new countries is even greater. Advance teams are sent in to find the children in need, conduct pre-screenings, take ear impressions, and work with the local and national leaders to ensure safe and effective working conditions. In addition, the follow up work once the missions are complete requires additional resources to ensure that proper long-term care is provided.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Once the dates have been finalized for the specific mission and the children in need have been identified, a team of people work to finalize the details of each mission. These include travel arrangement for the children as well as movement of workers and support. Missions take place over the course of several days and involve the fitting of hundreds of children each day, one at a time, with the remarkable deliverable of a child being able to hear the voice of their mother. The work is not finished when the child hears. Support is provided on site for language teaching and the needed technical support, including a long lasting supply of batteries. Ongoing support is provided by on-the-ground partners.
In the countries that these hearing missions take place, children most often times live in deaf schools, Most of these children are not deaf; they just need hearing aids. However, the resources are not available to provide the needed hearing aids. This is why the work performed by the Starkey Hearing Foundation is so important. The children receiving the Gift of Hearing are able to communicate with their families and become a part of the community.
The Starkey Hearing Foundation conducts hearing missions around the world each year. Once a mission takes place, going back to the same country is much easier. The fact remains that the children within these countries need the Gift of Hearing from the Starkey Hearing Foundation in order to hear. The resources to provide the Gift of Hearing are simply not available from within the country.
As the global leaders in hearing healthcare, Starkey Hearing Foundation is not only committed to providing hearing aids but also to educating new hearing healthcare professionals. There is a massive shortage of hearing healthcare professionals around the developing world. Starkey Hearing Foundation has the model to be both scalable and sustainable and would welcome partners willing to help us finance and implement this model beyond the 51 countries they currently have established programs in.