Kitchener, ON, Canada - Unitron Hearing today announced it has partnered with Australian charity, Carabez Alliance, to donate hearing instruments to school children in Fiji. The September donation marks the beginning of a longer term commitment to collaborating with Carabez Alliance, whose goal is to ensure the full integration of hearing impaired children from Fiji and the surrounding Pacific Islands into their local school systems.
Founded by Bronwyn Carabez in 2005, the Carabez Alliance relies solely on the contributions of hearing specialists and manufacturers to provide hearing aids, audiology expertise and speech and language development without cost to hearing impaired children in these under-resourced areas.
"Children who are mildly, moderately and severely deaf were slipping through the cracks because they were not being diagnosed in the school system," explains Carabez. "By screening and identifying these children as soon as possible and fitting them with the donated hearing instruments, they now have the opportunity to reach their full life potential. I cannot emphasize enough the significance of the donation by Unitron Hearing, and the positive effect this technology will have on the lives of these children and their families."
Each quarter, a volunteer team, organized by Carabez Alliance and equipped with donated hearing aids, visits schools in these regions to assess, fit and counsel the children, with a focus on early intervention. In September, 2008, the team visited Fiji for three days, conducting hearing assessments and fitting 17 children with hearing aids. The next school visits are planned for November 2008 and then January 2009 to continue the "Train the Trainer" Program teaching the teachers of the deaf.
"It has been a long-standing commitment at Unitron Hearing to improve the lives of those living with hearing loss," says Cameron Hay, President and CEO of Unitron Hearing worldwide. "This commitment stretches far beyond our market borders, and is demonstrated through such initiatives as our collaboration with Carabez Alliance. We saw that there is a true need here, and look forward to continuing our participation in this exemplary program."