New fundraiser Ann-Marie McIntyre

New fundraiser Ann-Marie McIntyre

We are thrilled that Ann-Marie has decided to fundraise for Sound Seekers for her 2019 London Marathon Place!

Ann -Marie started running 30 years ago and now at 61 years old was able to achieve her long-term goal to get a place in the London Marathon which was granted through the Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club. Being deaf herself, she understands the importance of accessing hearing healthcare services which is why she decided to support Sound Seekers.

Please help Ann-Marie reach her target by supporting her fundraising page here.

She will be joining our 2019 London Marathon runner Emma Singer in the race.

 

Sound Seekers 2019 London Marathon runner, Emma Singer!

Sound Seekers 2019 London Marathon runner, Emma Singer!

We are pleased to announce that Emma Singer is our London Marathon 2019 runner.

Please support Emma’s fundraising which will help people with hearing loss in Africa. She needs your support and your donations to take her closer to reaching her fundraising goal!

Please click here to be directed to Emma’s fundraising page.

 

Thuvaraka’s two weeks in Cameroon

Thuvaraka’s two weeks in Cameroon

I recently spent 2 weeks volunteering in Cameroon Mbingo Baptist Hospital with my colleague & friend. I spent these 2 weeks working in the ENT department supporting the audiology technicians and also providing a training workshop in line with the WHO guidelines. Soundseekers were amazing in supporting me through this experience. Mbingo hospital is beautiful and all the people there are extraordinary. I enjoyed my whole time there, especially interacting with the children from the deaf school.

Volunteer in Cameroon, Africa in audiology hospitalDuring my week Amina and I were helping the ENT Audiological technicians with the testing and providing amplification  to adults and children. It was wonderful to see how hearing aids were helping them. The smiles and words after they started hearing with hearing aids was reassuring. We also spent time looking through inventory and making sure that this clinic had the correct material  and equipment to keep running well.

During my second week I was part of a team facilitating a training workshop on primary ear and hearing care produced by the World Health Organisation to nurses and teachers of surrounding health centres and schools . This was an amazing week of training and one I would facilitate again. Not only were we able to share knowledge and practices about ear care, we were also able to make sessions very interactive and innovative . We got a clear idea about participants thoughts and about how change can be implemented and/or evoked in their communities.

Volunteer in Cameroon audiology hospitalOverall these 2 weeks were amazing and I would definitely go back. Soundseekers are an incredible organisation who are dedicated in helping and supporting people in Cameroon. I am so grateful that they sent me here and I would definitely recommend any health care professionals to go and to be a part of this wonderful charity.

Thuvaraka Chandrapavan, Cameroon 2016

Sound Seekers celebrates 21 years of life-changing hearing care

Sound Seekers celebrates 21 years of life-changing hearing care

PRESS RELEASE: Sound Seekers, a UK charity dedicated to helping deaf people in some of the world’s poorest communities, celebrates its 21st anniversary this month. Coinciding with ‘International Week of the Deaf 2015′, Sound Seekers is taking the opportunity to celebrate its birthday and to thank its supporters and patrons – or ‘hearing heroes’ – which include Specsavers, Prince Andrew (HRH Duke of York), Big Brother 2013 winner Sam Evans, and many more.

Extending this celebration, Sound Seekers is this week inviting anyone who lives and works within the deaf community to nominate their own #HearingHeroes, whether they be an organisation, audiologist, nurse, patron, supporter, friend, or parent. The campaign provides an opportunity to thank those people who make a huge difference to the lives of deaf people around the world.

With an estimated 100,000 people who have been helped by the organisation, Sound Seekers continues delivering practical solutions to children and adults with hearing loss in developing countries, helping them to realise their ambitions of achieving an education or finding employment. Although these are basic expectations in the UK and most Western communities, audiology issues are not only considered a disability in many communities across Africa, but are also associated with other stigmas such as witchcraft, leaving deaf people shunned by society with little or no prospect of leading a normal life.

Working in partnership with local organisations and institutions, Sound Seekers initiates sustainable and cost-effective projects which advance the understanding of deaf people’s needs and enable children and adults to avoid or help overcome the effects of deafness. They also improve access to health services, education and social support. One of Sound Seekers’ most recent projects in Malawi enabled over 7000 people with hearing loss to be treated, with over 2000 adults and children being fitted with hearing aids for the first time.

Sound Seekers’ focus on providing sustainable support has also led to their involvement in the training of audiologists in countries such as Zambia, where there is only one qualified audiologist for the entire population of 15 million people, and Malawi, a country of 16 million, where there are no audiologists at all. This September, Sound Seekers has given four Malawians the opportunity to study for an MSc in Audiology at Manchester University. If successful, the students will be the first qualified Audiologists in Malawi, with the knowledge and expertise to successfully treat patients on the ground.

Emma Judge, Sound Seekers CEO, comments: “We are extremely excited to kick off ‘International Week of the Deaf’ with a joint initiative with one of our #HearingHeroes supporters, Specsavers. Specsavers Hearing Centres all across the UK are holding an entire month of activities to support Sound Seekers by helping us to raise money and awareness, as well as collecting old and unwanted hearing aids. These hearing aids will then be cleaned and refurbished by us, before redistribution to hearing-impaired people across six countries in Africa – a fantastic initiative that could make a huge difference to so many people.”

“While we are incredibly proud of our achievement to date, we still have much work to do,” continued Judge. “Like any charity, Sound Seekers relies solely on donations and fundraising to support our activities. We are extremely grateful to all those who have supported us over the last 21 years, and to those who continue to do so.”
The #HearingHeroes Campaign

Get involved with the #HearingHeroes campaign by nominating your #HearingHeroes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to thank the organisations, audiologists, nurses, patrons, supporters, friends or parents who have made a difference to you. You can also let us know who you’re saying thanks to, or find out more information about Sound Seekers, by finding us at Facebook.com/soundseekersorg, Tweeting us @SoundSeekers, or searching for Sound_Seekers on Instagram.

For more information on this press release email help@sound-seekers.org.uk

Big Brother winner Sam Evans heads new BBC Radio 4 Appeal

Big Brother winner Sam Evans heads new BBC Radio 4 Appeal

Big Brother winner Sam Evans is this week set to present a BBC Radio 4 appeal on behalf of UK charity Sound Seekers, calling for donations to help improve hearing care in some of the poorest communities of the developing world. Evans, who is severely deaf, has worked with the charity since 2014, helping to raise funds and awareness to support people with hearing loss, particularly children, in countries across Africa.

“I had the opportunity to visit Malawi with Sound Seekers last year and witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of suffering from deafness in the developing world,” commented Evans. “Having received all of the help and support I needed growing up severely deaf in the UK, I was shocked and saddened to see how different things are elsewhere in the world. Adults with hearing loss in developing countries across Africa are often unable to work, whilst children are isolated and ignored. I am extremely proud to work with Sound Seekers, who are really making a difference to these peoples’ lives, and building a future for audiology where previously there has been no hearing care provision at all.”

The charity is hoping that the BBC Radio 4 appeal will help raise funds to support activities like its ongoing project in Malawi, where the Sound Seekers team is currently working with the Government of Malawi to build the country’s first comprehensive audiology service. “We are very grateful to Sam for presenting this appeal on behalf of our organisation,” said Sound Seekers CEO, Emma Judge. “We have many projects which have the potential to change the lives of people with hearing loss, including increasing access to education for those excluded from school because they are deaf, however we are entirely dependent on funding to make these changes a reality. We are hopeful that people who hear the appeal will begin to understand the severity of the problem for developing countries, and will help us in providing the vital hearing care that is so desperately needed.”

The appeal is due to air for the first time on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 13th September, at 7.55am, and is also available online via the Radio 4 website. Donations can also be made by calling 0800 404 8144, but only after the radio appeal has aired. Donations made before the radio appeal will not be received by Sound Seekers. Alternatively you can write a cheque to Sound Seekers and send it to Freepost, BBC Radio 4 Appeal, marking the back of the envelope ‘Sound Seekers’.

For more information on this press release email help@sound-seekers.org.uk

Sound Seekers project brings hope to Malawi

Sound Seekers project brings hope to Malawi

Sound Seekers, a national charity dedicated to helping deaf people in the world’s poorest communities, has recently returned from a week’s visit to Malawi, delivering vital aid to deaf communities. The visit also allowed the team to manage a number of ongoing projects and initiatives, and receive critical updates regarding their recent campaign with Specsavers Hearing Centres.

Sound Seekers’ current projects in Malawi are expected to provide hearing aids to around 2,000 adults and children, along with treating around 7,000 people for other causes of hearing loss. A further 3,500 people will be educated on ear care and hearing loss prevention, reflecting the charity’s commitment to providing sustainable aid and long-term solutions that will continue to benefit communities long after aid workers have returned to the UK. One of the biggest projects, however, is the construction of the country’s first comprehensive audiology service, based at Blantyre’s largest hospital. In addition to constructing the hearing unit, which is expected to serve over 10,000 people in three years, the charity is training African staff to identify and treat hearing loss so that deaf people can go to school and find work.

“We were amazed to see the developments since our last visit,” commented Lucy Carter, CEO, Sound Seekers. “With the help of some fantastic partner organisations and the Government here in Malawi, we are seeing real progress. Along with seeing the new audiology unit take shape, we were able to revisit children who received hearing aids and cochlear implants last year and watch them thriving. One of the children we met only months ago now has such good hearing that he is able to translate for his mother! It’s great to see the benefits of our services extending far beyond just those we are able to meet.”

The visit also provided an opportunity to get an update on the charity’s joint campaign with Specsavers Hearing Centres, initiated earlier this year. The campaign has so far seen thousands of old and unwanted hearing aids collected from Specsavers stores across the UK, before being cleaned, repurposed and redistributed to people in Africa with hearing loss.

“It is a very exciting time for Sound Seekers, as a number of our campaigns have come to fruition and are starting to make a real difference,” continued Carter. “Our recent partnership with Specsavers Hearcare has been hugely successful, and it is immensely rewarding to witness first-hand the benefits of the campaign. Our combined efforts are expected to change the lives of nearly 400,000 people in the community with hearing loss, and we are confident that we are well on the way to building a promising future for audiology in Malawi.”

Specsavers founder, Dame Mary Perkins, also commented: “Living in the UK, we are extremely lucky to have access to such robust hearing healthcare programmes. Overseas, charities like Sound Seekers are providing vital care to those who are not as fortunate. We are delighted to be supporting the great work that Sound Seekers provides in countries like Malawi.”

For more information on this press release email help@sound-seekers.org.uk

Hello from Sierra Leone!

Hello from Sierra Leone!

Sarah Hubbard tells us what’s been going on at Sierra Leone’s National School for the Deaf.

Time has been flying here in West Africa, and work has been progressing. As of now we have painted almost the entire inside of the school! It’s a wonder what a fresh coat of paint can do for a place. We have chosen some bright new colors for the corridors and classrooms and even had some new wooden strips varnished and put up. Check out the before and after shots:

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With just a few more rooms to got we should be done with the interior in a matter of weeks (though the phrase “No hurry in Africa” has never been more true)!  We still have plans for more building renovations, including skylights to brighten up the dark rooms, some new chairs and desks for the classrooms, and  maybe even a paint job for the outside.

We have also been having sign language classes for the teachers, and are doing our best to keep everyone motivated and practicing their sign language. We will continue the classes until I depart in August and, depending on a few factors, they may even be able to continue after that.

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We are also in the process of arranging for three of the teachers in Freetown to travel to Makeni (a three to four hour drive) to attend a certificate course in teaching deaf children. If all goes well, we will continue to send more teachers.

Though the rains are truly setting in here in Freetown, we are doing our best to keep progress moving! The rains are really bad in July and August so we are trying to get the necessary outside renovations done before then.

Thank you again to all who are helping me here in Freetown, back in the States, and especially to Sound Seekers for making it all possible!

Much love from sweet, sweet, Salone.