We’re pleased to announce our 2nd Moment Maker Grant winner – Michael Mallahan from Hearing the Children. Since 2003, Michael’s organization has been taking audiology teams to Guatemala twice a year. They serve children in seven different towns and have trained three Guatemalan audio technicians to serve the children in follow up care throughout the year.
Since 2003, the organization has fit over 1400 children with hearing aids. They have trained the audio techs to perform hearing screenings, hearing aid checks, minor hearing aid repair and family education.
“When you get to see a child that’s maybe 5 or 12 yrs old, and they have never heard their mother’s voice and they are starting to hear things for the first time – it is pretty awe-inspiring!” says Mallahan.
Here are some of the stories of the children helped by the Hearing the Children organization.
Fernando suffered from chronic fevers and allergies since birth causing hearing loss. At 4 years of age he was fitted with a hearing aid.
10 year old Marta began having hearing loss after a very bad fall and head injury when she was 2 years old. She struggled in school until she received her hearing aid via HTC and her Mom says that she now excels in her class.
Daniela is 12 years old and only in 3rd grade. She had repeated the first grade for 5 years before receiving her first hearing aid and now is doing very well in school. Daniela and her Mom traveled 2 hours each way back to the clinic for a recheck and to visit the HTC Audiology Team. It is a commitment they have made and Daniela is the proudest of her accomplishments she has made in school.
In November 2014, Michael will return to Queztaltenango, Guatemala, to provide a two week training course to educate 40-50 teachers how to stimulate speech and language development in children with hearing loss. This course will be the first of a three year training program. The Moment Maker Grant will be used for funding this trip, including workbooks, materials and meals for the teachers. In addition, ReSound is providing free hearing instruments and supplies for the organization to fit children during the trip.