Brazil Solar Ear Hearing Aid
Project website: http://www.solarear.com.br/solar/index.php
Folsom (California) Rotary Club under the direction of Jean Hatfield, a retired audiologist along with District 5180 (Sacramento, California area), District 5280 (Southern California), Pleasant Valley (New York) Rotary Club, Millbrook (NY) Rotary Club, District 7210 (near NYC) joined forces with Luiz Ricardo Begosso from the Candido Mota Rotary Club, Assis Norte Rotary Club and Alonso Campoi Padilha, Jr. of District 4510 in the Brazilian State of Sao Paulo to give the gift of hearing to hearing impaired children and adults with 164 solar battery powered hearing aids. The hearing aid users get one or two hearing aids (as needed) according to their severity of hearing loss with a solar charger that charges two AA batteries that then charge 2 smaller hearing aid batteries and the hearing aid (see attached information about Solar Ear Hearing Aids). The affordable rechargeable hearing aid batteries last 2 years and cost $2 a piece as opposed to traditional hearing aid batteries that cost $1 a week per hearing aid which is unaffordable for poor hearing impaired individuals in developing countries who live on $1 or $2 a day.
These photos show some of the children and adults being fitted for custom made ear molds that will be used with the Solar Ear hearing aids. Luiz Ricardo Begosso of the Rotary Club de Candido Mota sent a heart warming email
“I am so happy to be participating in this project. Never in my life have I had contact with so many hearing impaired people. Last week we had the last days for molding the ears of the patients that will receive the 164 aids and I could see how their lives are so difficult because they don’t hear. This has been an incredible experience for all the Rotarians here, but especially for me. I was talking about this with Cibelly who was helping the hearing impaired and she told me that the emotions will be much bigger when they receive their aids and listen to their mother’s voice for the first time. I thank you so much for you have included me on this project.”
Some of the hearing aids were given out in the beginning of 2013 and others were given out in the end of April, 2013 when retired audiologist, Jean Irwin Hatfield went to Sao Paulo to teach good hearing practices and the use of hearing aids and check out the quality of the hearing aids which she said were “very, very good!”
Read the Final Matching Grant Report submitted to Rotary International.