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!!!
Starting a new and promisory year 2013, is time to review the achievments of the good old 2012!!! Well we did it definitely very well!! With a lot of effort and work from our team and the Board of Directors headed by Mrs, Giovanna Troncoso, our Foundation achieved the impresive number of 2,270 auditive screenings at public and private schools. Government entities, Corporations, and at our own offices, also spreading the word of awareness of this silent disease and teaching on how to prevent it and detect it in order to treat it properly. Always faithful to our ultimate goal, PREVENT, DETECT AND EDUCATE, helping many on our way.
We also continue with our campaign of awareness through several motivational and educational conferences offered by Mr. Gustavo Troncoso Ferrari who kindly sponsored and helped our Organization throughout the year.
One of our main goals during the year was to keep all our sponsors informed, so we delivered a monthly newsletter where we tried to describe some of many montly duties and achievements done around the country.This year we promise to deliver also an English Newsletter in order to have our non spanish speaking sponsors, informed as well !!!
Well, it seems that 2013 will bring many wonderful things for our children with auditive disabilities, as we grow and learn year after year on how to give them the best of us and help them that there is hope and people who cares, Isn't it a great way to start a new year??!!! Thank you Global Giving, and all the people that every year are there to help us continue with our work!!!
Close to the end of this wonderful 2012, our Foundation continues to help and educate people in Panamá. During the past months we have been working very actively with different Public Entities and other prestigious Foundations and organizations in order to prevent and find solutions to our people with hearing impairments.
Hearing is Living Foundation in conjunction with Dr. Rowley, Ms. Marcela Perez and students of the School of Audiology of UDELAS University performed hearing screening to students of Masters and Administration of the Intgeramerican University in order to raise awareness and educate the population about the importance of hearing care and hearing.
We visited Martin Luther King School an through the program "Road to Quality" sponsored by UDELAS University we served inset to more than 50 children of 1st grade, to ensure proper hearing status.
We were present at the event FANLYC "Relay for Life"which was held at the Causeway on 20 and 21 October. Thanks to theLeo Club volunteers from San Francisco who supported us and leafleting and to Unique store that gave us their face painting services forentertain children while parents received valuable information.
Congratulations to Saint Mary's School and Lasalle School, these two schools and their parents who supported the campaign Hearing is Living that took place in October where we took over 450 screenings on childrens who now know the state of their hearing.
We also continue successfully in our program of donating hearing aids to the different Institutions in need of solutions, soon we will be releasing more news about our achievements and permanent work towards the improvement on the prevention, education and solution of hearing problems in Panamá...
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Panama, Republic of Panama,
President of Fundacion Oir es Vivir
Panama City, Panama,