The German Lions Club of Wiesmoor in East Friesland launched the “Hilfe für kleine Ohren” (Relief for Little Ears) project more than twenty years ago. In 2009, the Lions Relief Organisation (HDL) adopted the successful project and extended it to run on a national scale, commissioning the Lions Club of Kelkheim with its operating implementation. A committee comprising nine members is tasked with collecting, sorting, storing, and distributing hearing aids, a duty that is extremely time-consuming. Hearing aids are shipped to overseas relief organisations, hospitals, orphanages, and schools for the deaf and hearing impaired, with hearing impaired children from poor families being the main beneficiaries.
To find suitable local partners, the committee has drawn up a questionnaire in collaboration with the EUHA, who also reviews the answers. The distribution of hearing aids starts as soon as the EUHA has given the go-ahead. Routine reports guarantee that quality standards concerning the supply are adhered to, and that aftercare has a lasting effect.
More than 29,000 hearing aids were shipped to partner organisations between 2010 and Juli 2018, quite an impressive number and testimony to the success of the project.
The team disseminates information on its activities on a regular basis issuing a newsletter published in German and English and sent to donors and beneficiaries in the whole world. Articles on the project have been published in professional journals. Public relations tools also include participation in the EUHA Congress where the project regularly meets with broad acclaim from hearing aid professionals, and where new contacts are made.
In 2014, a hearing lab was launched in Sri Lanka based on a collaboration between the Lions Club of Anuradhapura, the Lions Club of Kelkheim, the HDL Lions Relief Organisation, and the Lions Clubs International Headquarters in the United States. To guarantee efficiency, four hearing aid acousticians from Germany have been dispatched to the lab for a specified period of time.
Further objectives of the Relief for Little Ears team include:
- cooperating with hearing aid manufacturers and distributers as well as with hearing aid acousticians in order to receive as many high power hearing aids as possible
- campaigning for support from Lions Clubs throughout the world
- canvassing for new and reliable overseas partners
- intensifying collaboration with existing partners to learn more about their requirements
- refining coverage and improving the team’s working processes
4 September 2018
List of the RfLE Partner organisations
(as of 30.03.2020)
|Country||Name of the organisation|
|Bolivien||“Human Right” Cochabamba|
|Bolivien||Hospital Arco Iris, La Paz|
|Bolivien||Centro Altiora Cochabamba|
|Botswana||Bamalete Lutheran Hospital, Ramotswa|
|Cambodia||All Ears Cambodia|
|DR Kongo / Uganda||CERBC – CENTRE D’EDUCATION ET DE REHABILITATION A BASE COMMUNAUTAIRE|
|Dominik. Republik||Instituto de Ayuda Al Sordo|
|Guatemala||Fundacion Sonrisas que Escuchan – cedaf|
|Peru||Cajamarca Asociacion Dorotea|
|Peru||CPAL – Centro Peruano de Audición Lenguaje y Aprendizaje|
|Sri Lanka Anuradhapura||Minikrankenhaus / Hörzentrum Anuradhapura|
|Ukraine / Weißrussland||Tschernobyl Hilfe|
|Ukraine||Ukrainian Society of the Deaf – UTOG|
|Vietnam||CED – Center for Research and Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing|
|Zambia||Upper Hill Trust|
For more information about the project please check the following link: http://www.lions-hilfswerk.de/nationale-und-internationale-hilfsprojekte/hilfe-fuer-kleine-ohren.html
Fotos: Copyrights CBM / HDL