Hearing Aids NGOs: Restructuring programs for better long-term results

I am not here to bash NGOs.  There are things they do that I disagree with and things that I agree with.

NGOs generally have good intentions overall.  They try to make things operate smoothly.  They try to give their resources to every single person.  There are people who want to help.  There is what seems to be never-ending access to resources.

However, the current structure does not work.

Sure, it works great from a short-term perspective but it is my personal opinion that if people truly want to help then they need to step back and reassess what they can do to help people benefit long-term.

That may include reducing the number of people they give hearing aids to and ensuring that those people have access to hearing aid batteries for a long time (instead of the just few months battery supply they were given, my kids do not have access to hearing aid batteries in the villages so once their free supply run out…they’re out of luck) and earmolds (kids grow quickly and kids will outgrow their earmolds quickly).

Or maybe even use their resources to set up a training center for a certain country itself.  Create job opportunities, show citizens how to provide aid for their own people without having someone from another country flying in all the time, build more hearing aids centers, develop audiologist programs, etc. Educate communities on how to communicate with deaf people, provide more interpreter training programs, increase awareness to reduce stigma, promote early exposure to a language, etc.

Bottom-line is…..right now…resources are going to waste.

Many of the 75 kids who went to get hearing aids last Thursday are not wearing their hearing aids because it’s uncomfortable (earmolds are too big, things sound too quiet, things sound too loud) and it hasn’t even been a week.  Kids are not receiving any aural rehab or feedback on what environmental sounds  they may be hearing.

There are a few kids at my school who I truly think would benefit from hearing aids if the hearing aids were programmed correctly, they had access to hearing aid batteries/earmolds, and had access to support services afterwards.

That is not happening with the current setup of these NGO programs.  What will happen is that in a year or two another NGO will come and give the kids hearing aids once again….it’s a cycle.  Many of our kids who went last week had gone before and have another pair of useless hearing aids laying somewhere at home.



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