What does success mean for a Foundation like ours? It means making an impact where it’s most needed. It means supporting an increasing number of children, year after year. And it means having the funds to ensure projects are backed over several years, to build infrastructure and capabilities that last in regions where those were scarce before. Our fiscal year 2021/22 was a successful one in this regard. Together with our project partners, we were able to return to pre-COVID activity levels, thus improving the lives of numerous children with hearing loss in low- and middle-income countries.
Last year, we fitted 2,260 hearing aids to 1,250 newborns and children. We provided basic audiology training to more than 1,580 hearing care professionals and volunteers, and supported advanced audiology training for nearly 50 professionals. We were able to donate CHF 3.7 million in technological, financial, and professional support to our project partners worldwide. By continuing our close collaborations and building capacity for local audiologists and experts, we aspire to reach even more children in the coming years.
The total amount of funds raised this year, surpassing CHF 1 million for the first time in the Foundation’s history, will be central to the success of these plans. This achievement demonstrates the enthusiasm and eagerness of our community of individual donors, foundations, external organizations, and Sonova Group employees to actively support our work. Also, Sonova has approved an additional fund of CHF 400,000 based on our progress achieved, which will allow us to strengthen the depth and impact of our work going forward.
To further enhance the quality of our project portfolio, we optimized our application process for project funding by tailoring it more closely to the aspired impact on the ground, from immediate aid to long-term capability building. We also intensified our exchanges with potential partners within the application period for an in-depth understanding of each other’s mission, ways of working, and core objectives before starting a new collaboration. As a result, the Foundation Board has approved five new projects for 2022/23: Two in Brazil and Mexico and the extension of three promising existing initiatives, adding up to 16 projects in 13 countries.
Being fully active on the ground again, expanding our reach, and creating sustainable impact – 2021/22 was certainly a success for the Hear the World Foundation. We have been passionately pursuing this work for the past 15 years and would like to celebrate the occasion by thanking all our supporters and project partners. I warmly invite you to explore the impact of our joint efforts on the lives of children like My from Vietnam, Ralph from Lebanon, and Praise from Malawi in the individual stories. Seeing them thrive alongside their peers and dream big is a huge source of inspiration for all of us.
With my best regards,
President of the Hear the World Foundation