In this Open Ears segment we’ll be following a group of Sonova team members as they head to Haiti with the Hear The World Foundation. Michael Lumunsad, a Strategic Marketer who works at Advanced Bionics, will be reporting from Haiti.
I, probably like many of you, still remember when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti more than six years ago. The January 12, 2010 catastrophe killed more than two hundred thousand people and displaced millions more. In those six years, a lot of foreign aid and relief efforts have been poured into the island to help rebuild the devastated Caribbean country, including the Hear the World Foundation, which started HEAR HAITI in 2013.
On Sunday, I’ll be joining 11 other Sonova Group employees on the fourth Hear the World volunteering trip to Leveque, Haiti. Our team will be providing patient care, hearing aid fitting, and caregiver education to many deaf children and adults living in Leveque, especially those children orphaned by the 2010 tragedy.
I will lead the documentation efforts during the trip, including sharing our experiences on social media. Others will have jobs covering administration and organization tasks, diagnostics, fitting, auditory verbal therapy, and communications.
Everyone on the team is excited to volunteer in Haiti and give back to the community in need.
Meet some of the 2016 Hear Haiti volunteers:
Theresa Kinney – Phonak, USA
This is Theresa Kinney’s second trip on a Hear the World mission representing Phonak, and she’s very excited to help the people of Haiti again. She is looking forward “to see how technology and hearing care can pave the way to success for children and adults.” Theresa will be working in our administration and organization team.
Jason Norby: Advanced Bionics, USA
As a Clinical Specialist with Advanced Bionics, Jason Norby is volunteering for this trip because he wants others “to live a better, healthier life.” He also says that his “past humanitarian/service experiences have made me a better person.” Jason will be focused on diagnostics for this particular trip.
Sarah Beaulieu – Connect Hearing, Canada
Another veteran to the Hear the World Foundation humanitarian projects, this will be Sarah Beaulieu’s second trip to Haiti. As an audiologist for Connect Hearing in Canada, Sarah will be providing auditory verbal therapy to the people we help. Sarah will help kids fitted with hearing aids learn how to adapt to their new equipment and how to train themselves to get the most out of their hearing instruments. For this trip, Sarah says, “I’m also learning more sign language so that I can communicate with the children better, and practicing my Haitian children’s songs in which I’m sure I’m mixing up a few of the lyrics, and brainstorming fun games to use with the children to be used to help them learn to listen.”
Lindsey Melvin – Unitron, USA
Lindsey Melvin is representing Unitron and will be helping the auditory verbal therapy group for her first Hear the World mission. Lindsey is very excited to take part in this humanitarian opportunity and she’s excited that she can “be a part of making sure these children have follow-up care in the community.”
On behalf of the Hear Haiti team, we’re really excited to be a part of this great program. We expect long days, hot temperatures, and mosquitoes, but we’re very excited to be in a position to help a lot of people.
Michael Lumunsad is a Strategic Marketer who works at Advanced Bionics in Valencia, California.
He is passionate about philanthropy, volunteerism, traveling, Swiss watches, vintage cars, cooking, English bulldogs and anything to do with his alma mater, the University of Southern California.