After a promising begining, 2014 it appears full of new challenges for our team, in February we supported for the second year in a row to our friends of ARGO Insurance co., during the Puma Energy Health Festival we offerred hearing screening tests to every ARGO Administrative employee, we definitely congratulate all the companies like ARGO that are worried for the hearing health of its team.
We were also present like every year at the Baby Trade Show which was held in Panamá City, during the three days of the trade show we passed valuable information to thousands of people, Parents, Childrend, students, and everyone who was interested in learning how to take a better care of the hearing health and at the same time how to understand more about this silent disease.
FOV Offering education in an Open Festival
FOV team, volunteers and Board members participated in the Open Festival, educating about the importance of early detection of hearing loss and the overall care of hearing. Also we had the opportunity to establish important contacts with companies and other organizations who will be pleased to provide our services, counseling and guidance. Thanks to Sam Kardonski Foundation invited us to participate in this event. And thanks to the volunteers, and the entire team that made possible our participation.
Hearing test program at Public Schools
We were conducting hearing tests at the Omar Torrijos Herrera School located in the community of Paradise - Ancon, where we served more than 100 children from Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade. This program was held in conjunction with the program, Path to Quality of University of the Americas UDELAS. It is our interest to bring free hearing health care to those most in need.
This time we took our free Hearing Screening tests, to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Home of Our Lady, where they take care of a population of children who require a transitional home. We examined 27 children aged 1 to 13 years. Also we served 75 children from kindergarten and first grade at the public school French Republic .
Also during March we conducted an educational talk about hearing tests to employees of Albrook Mall.
For the third year we supported the campaign that promotes a minute of silence in commemoration of the International Day of Noise Awareness held on April 30. Some businesses, media, schools, organizations, personalities and people from different countries such as Panama, Mexico, Canada, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador, expressed their support for this cause by sending their "selfies" with # Solo1Minuto. Also, that day, we offered our Comprehensive Hearing Care Center, exams completely free hearing screening. We thank all those who helped us this year in one way or another to make this an initiative that "makes noise to stop the noise."
Hearing Health for ASI GROUP employees Courtesy of Arch Insurance, we were again invited to participate in the Health Fair held at the premises of the companies Arango Software Int, where we made hearing tests to its employees. Congratulations to this company that takes care of the hearing health of its employees.
Global Giving report – December was followed by an early and solid start in 2014 for Fundación Oír es Vivir (to Hear is to Live)
A few more “end-of-year” events and activities took place since the Foundation’s last report in November 2013. Indeed the end of the year represented a nice opportunity for the Foundation to thank all of those who have been supporting its cause. Including of which the precious Global Giving donors! The Foundation’s Acknowledgement Ceremony, which took place on 20th of November 2013 at the Crowne Plaza in Panama, allowed the whole team to thank its recurring and new supporters, and show gratefulness, in person. It also permitted to present the activities and plans for 2014.
Throughout December, the Foundation continued its early detection activities. This is one of the Foundation’s primary focuses and it helps to identify hearing losses in children in time to avoid them from hindering the development of language, their inclusion into the schooling system and to allow them to live a normal life with equal opportunities. This took place in public and private schools throughout Panama. Furthermore, as part of Christmas celebrations, the Foundation attended 30 children from 1 to 4 years of age at the Health Center of the zone of Panama called 24 de Diciembre. This is a more vulnerable area and these children were part of households with very few economic resources. Hearing exams were performed to all of them, after which they received donated Christmas presents.
As highlighted in the last report, 2013 ended on a high note. In 2013, the Foundation has reached more than 1,300 children overall with hearing exams for hearing losses identification in Panama city, the vulnerable area of Mañanitas and the indigenous community of Union Embera.
Today, early 2014, the Foundation is happy to announce that its Integrated Center for Hearing Health is fully functional and that children and adults can make appointments to be examined, to receive hearing solutions and orientation whenever convenient to them. The Foundation now continuously provides hearing care to the Panamanians in need at this new center located in the City of Knowledge in Clayton area of Panama city.
While the team maintains its mobile capacity to go to the field to do hearing screening, the center now provides the complete response process to hearing problems. It offers audiometry, impedanceometry, oto-acoustic emissions and auditory evoked potential exams, with a sound-proof room to allow improved precision. It also counts the facility to offer speech therapy to children and adults. It is of great benefit for the Panamanians to have all these services under one same roof to permit the detection, diagnosis, and the treatment of a hearing condition without the delays caused in having to book appointments in different places. The Center is also a place where orientation is available to all, and where families can exchange information and experiences on the challenge of having a relative with hearing problems.
In January, the Foundation has also strengthened its Executive Board by welcoming a new member, Analida Pitty Ceballos, a renowned Speech Therapist in Panama, as Vice-President. Her experience and medical skills complete those of the other members of the Board (Otolaryngologists, Audiologists, Marketing and event strategists, and mothers of deaf children or children affected by hearing losses) to form a very complete support structure to the team in place at the Foundation.
Thus the tools are really all in place to allow for the provision of integrated and comprehensive hearing care to the vulnerable Panamanians who need it throughout 2014.
In 2014, the Foundation will strive to gives access to hearing health to an increased number of persons in need, and further expand its activities to areas that are more remotely located and where there is a lack of basic healthcare. While the economy is booming in Panama, indigenous and more remote communities remain the invisible face of poverty in the country. These planned activities will hopefully be facilitated by the securing of more support from international and local donors and partners.
The Foundation team takes this opportunity to thank again its Global Giving donors! Please remember to “like” us on facebook, at Fundacion Oir es Vivir, and share it with friends, to help us reach the 1,000 followers (we’re getting closer as we currently are at 933). We’re also on Twitter @OIRESVIVIRPTY.
The year is ending with very positive changes and new opportunities for the Foundationto Hear is to Live (Fundacion Oir es Vivir).
The end of 2013 has been a very important and emotional time for the Foundation Oir es Vivir which has expanded with the opening of its new Integral Center for Hearing Health, strategically located in the City of Knowledge, and with additional human resources.
On 22d of October 2013, the Foundation inaugurated its new center which now offers the possibility to Panamanians to go through the whole process of diagnosis, response and rehabilitation to hearing loss under one same roof. This helps ensure improved attention, strong follow-up and an overall more rapid process. In addition to new equipment, to undertake the algorithm of hearing exams which may be needed by patients, the center also includes a sound proof language therapy room and a sound proof cabin to allow for hearing tests to be conducted without exterior sound pollution. “It is very exciting to be able to do all the hearing exams and give the appropriate solutions all in the same place!” said Giovanna Troncoso, the President of the Foundation.
The Foundation’s team was recently completed with the arrival of a new Executive Director who joined the team early September this year. Alice Golay, who has previously worked for the United Nations in variouscountries (Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Switzerland and Italy). will be focusing on ensuring that the Foundation can be sustainable and carry out its projects as planned to improve the life conditions of vulnerable households in Panama that are affected by hearing losses. Two interns also joined the Foundation during this trimester. A student in Auditive Health at the Specialized University of the Americas, which helps the Foundation team with the screenings in the field and attending patients at the new center, and a student in Law, who works on the effort to have a hearing screening law for all new-born children in Panama.
The Foundation continued its proactive awareness-raising through the organization of various events in the past months. Its 4th free Information Session for teachers took place on 16 October 2013 and was attended by more than 60 teachers from different schools of Panama City. Four lecturers were invited to talk (psychologists, pedagogists and other professional in the education sector) on themes that were related to the social inclusion of disabled children in classrooms. Lecturers also gave tips to teachers to help them detect hearing losses early enough. A round of “Free Hugs” also took place on 22 of September 2013 in one of Panama’s largest commercial center to attract attention on hearing disabilities which remain too often invisible. This was the third round of the “Free Hugs” activity undertaken by the Foundation so far.
Awareness raising and orientation at all levels of the Panamanian society remains one of the Foundation’s major focuses. Information-sharing at all levels in turns promotes improved social inclusion. It is key to help ensure the development of hearing impaired children’s abilities and to allow them to become fully active members of society.
This was further reinforced by the presence of Fundacion Oir es Vivir in various Medias throughout October and November. Interviews slots on the major Panama TV and radio channels (TVN2, Canal 37, Radio Panama, Omega Stereo, SER TV) were given to the Executive Director and the Hearing Specialists of the Foundation. This was agreat opportunity to remind the population of Panama of the importance of early detection of hearing problems to mitigate their impact on children’s abilities to develop language, have the opportunity to present the Foundation’sactivities and announce the exciting opening of the new Integral Center for Hearing Health in the City of Knowledge.
The Foundation continued to implement activities of hearing screenings in public schools in vulnerable communities for the timely detection and response of hearing problems. The Foundation also reached an indigenous community, Union Embera, during a field trip to do hearing exams at the end of October. The Foundation was part of an integrated medical team with personal from other organizations, and gave an orientation talk to parents on ear hygiene. The Foundation is developing a pilot project to ensure hearing health in remote communities of indigenous areas for which it will be looking for funds for implementation in 2014.
This year the Foundation has undertaken 1,100 screening in schools, companies, and in the office facilities(that are currently being followed up). It has also provided hearing aids to 18 patients without low economic incomes and provided language therapy to six children.
Furthermore, the Foundation was also active in linking young hearing disabled people wishing to work with companies that are mobilized to give employment opportunities to disabled persons. The Foundation conducted the initial interviews and then gave recommendations to the companies (which included banks and sportswear companies). Various young disabled boys and girls are now successfully employed.
Fundacion Oir es Vivir is so grateful to its donors for allowing the implementation of its planned activities. A million thanks to all those who support Fundacion Oir es Vivir and you can follow us on facebook Fundacion Oir es Vivir and twitter OIRESVIVIRPTY. And check out the new website that is being developed at www.fundacionoiresvivir.org.
FULFILLING THE DREAM OF CHILDREN AND ADULTS
In a touching and simple ceremony, on June 8, we have donated hearing aids to children and adults so that all may have the gift of audition! We wish them all the best in the world with this new opportunity!
THEATER FOR THE HEARING
We extend our appreciation to Ms. Diana Abouganem, producer of La Cage Aux Folles who offered support our work with the proceeds from the collection of the work presented in June. We take a few nights of theater to deliver educational flyers to attendees.
JOINING FORCES IN FAVOR OF CHILDREN!
On May 14 the III Art Auction for Children took place, to benefit our Foundation and the Children's Hospital, together will be adapting an area Hospital to offer the possibility of examining visual reinforcement audiometry. This will support the early detection of hearing loss.
THEY RECEIVED THE GIFT OF SOUND
This month of May we organized the donation of hearing two girls, Ana Lucia and Mercedes, who start now, with their families to discover the world of sounds and work in oral rehabilitation.
BENEFITING CHILDREN WITH HUNDREDS OF Hearing Tests
Public School José de San Martín, Kinder Smart Kids and Home Divine Child were three beneficiary institutions this month with our hearing health program that allows early detection of hearing loss to be identified and treated.
It seems that the year it is blessed for our Foundation, We thank the Japanese Embassy and its Ambassador S. E. Ikuo Mizuki who made a substantial donation to our organization, allowing us to purchase new equipment required for hearing health examinations. We hope to have soon purchased and installed in order to help thousands of people around Panama. We received the donation with Dr. Cynthia Guy, president for life, and members members of our Board.
Commemorating the anniversary of the Children's Hospital XIII Specialized Consultation, Hearing is Living Foundation was invited by the Department of Nursing Teaching to participate in the First Day of Parent Education. Dilia Herrera, Administrative Director and Ms. Aixa Lambert presented the foundation to the present and presented the topic "The importance of hearing health."
Every month we welcome at our offices located in City of Knowledge - Building 234 - Suite 101 - to parents becoming aware of the importance of hearing screening bringing their children to the test! Congratulations to all those who make this important decision.
This month we serve more than 70 children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, under the program Quality Road UDELAS. We also do tests to children of Happy Kids. The importance of this action is to allow early detection of any condition or disorder that may be unnoticed and untreated undoubtedly begin to affect language development and school performance.
We gave an interesting talk teacher education body of Alfred Nobel School. In this way we support their educational work with valuable information that will also benefit from the hundreds of children they raise.
We keep going!!! and with your help and support everyday we are closer to reach our goals.!! Thank you!!!
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Panama, Republic of Panama,
President of Fundacion Oir es Vivir
Panama City, Panama,