Comprehensive hearing care for people in need

Dear Readers, 

According to WHO, one in four people worldwide will suffer from hearing loss by 2050. 900 million people will need access to hearing care. People in low-income regions are particularly hard-hit. In 93 percent of these countries, there is less than one audiologist per million inhabitants and about 78 percent of low-income countries have fewer than one ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist per million people.

In many of our project countries, the early detection and treatment of hearing loss has yet to be integrated into national health care systems. As there is a lack of hearing care professionals, infrastructure and technology in these countries, we seek to create impact by closing these gaps. We were able to screen 68,525 newborns and children for hearing loss, provide 1,757 with hearing aids and support audiological training to 285 professionals. These numbers reflect a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries we have impacted. As part of this investment, we have provided our project partners with CHF 5.4 million in technical, financial and professional support.


Our focus this year has shifted even more towards individual projects that can serve as examples of sustainable impact within their respective countries. This development goes hand in hand with our strategic goal to provide comprehensive access to audiology services along the entire care continuum and to systematically measure outcomes. We aim to continuously increase positive impact and support a growing number of children by building the capabilities of our project partners and supporting them as they work towards hearing care self-sufficiency.


Given the dramatic developments in Europe in 2022 we have, in addition to our regular ongoing and new projects, started an emergency project in Poland, which is close to our heart right now. By the end of 2022, around 16.6 million people had left Ukraine due to the ongoing war, many of them children. Supported by the significant commitment from colleagues of Sonova Audiological Care Poland, these children will receive comprehensive hearing care in Geers stores. This enables them to return to the world of sound, as Katarzyna Trzcinska describes the help she provides as an audiologist to refugee children in Lublin.



Arnd Kaldowski

President of the Hear the World Foundation

More impact through focus and scale



Dear Readers,

The past year was marked by valuable personal encounters, progress in the sustainable impact of our foundation’s work, and the growing engagement of supporters of our mission. After a period of restrictions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was possible to fully resume project work and significantly expand the scope of the foundation’s effects.


With our funding programs, we aim to provide quality and sustainable audiological care to children in poverty-stricken regions of the world. When selecting projects, we ensure that the core components of the hearing health value chain are covered. Each individual step makes an essential contribution to improving the quality of life of children. In the reporting year 2022/23, we therefore focused even more strongly on holistic projects and further expanded them where possible. With CHF 5.4 million, the foundation supported 14 ongoing programs, extended our projects in Cambodia, El Salvador, and Jordan, initiated a training course for audiologists in Brazil and launched the emergency aid project for Ukrainian refugees together with Sonova Audiological Care Poland.


We count on strong partners and Sonova volunteers to contribute their expertise and passion to all of these projects. As part of our needs- and skills-based support, Sonova employees contributed to 59 assignments and 1,320 hours of work in the four areas of audiology, strategy, operations, and marketing and communications.


We also received great support from our Foundation and Advisory Board members, who made their network available to us, contributed their expertise locally, and provided advice and support to the operational foundation team. In addition, there were new celebrity supporters from the music world this year with the addition of James Bay, Kelly Jones, Campino and John Cleese. I am proud of the achievements of the foundation team and all the volunteers – and grateful for the recognition that our work receives.


Sincerely yours, 


Dr. Joëlle Pianzola

Managing Director of the Hear the World Foundation