Special Needs Teachers Training & After School Clubs in Ndola

Special Needs Teachers Training & After School Clubs in Ndola

In March 2019, thanks to the generous support of the British and Foreign School Society, we started a new project in the only 3 deaf units in mainstream primary schools in Ndola, Zambia. We trained 30 special needs teachers that work within these units  at Kanshenshi, Kamba and Chilengwa Primary schools to advance their Zambian Sign Language skills to improve the quality of education delivered to their deaf students.

 

As part of our new project in Ndola, Zambia, we also set up weekly after school clubs within the 3 deaf units in primary schools, led by the trained teachers and a sign language interpreter, to help teach basic sign language for mainstream students and help to improve inclusion and interaction between deaf students and mainstream students.

Please click here to read more about the project’s progress so far, celebrated during Deaf Awareness Week 2019. 

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

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