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Hearing Mission in Malaysia

October 12, 2017

Like students all around the world, children in Malaysia went back to school in early August. The first day of school was particularly special for about 400 students on the Malaysian island of Penang who received hearing aids during Starkey Hearing Foundation’s recent mission.

With support from the Ministry of Education Special Education Department, Knowles Electronic and Best Hearing, Starkey Hearing Foundation served more than 1,400 people over four days. Patients traveled from near and far, with one school group making a three-hour trek from the state of Perlis, near the border of Thailand.    

Nur Syakila Idayu Bi Othman, a local school teacher, said students immediately showed greater self-assurance after receiving their hearing aids.

“The hearing aids are so good for all of the students in terms of developing their social skills and interacting with normal hearing students,” Othman said. “Their self-confidence was so low because they are ashamed that they cannot hear and they cannot talk. It is very good for them to have hearing aids because now they will learn to talk, their language will improve and they will feel more confident about mingling with normal hearing students.”

In addition to receiving hearing aids, students were selected as Student Ambassadors. Student Ambassadors are responsible for helping their peers and teachers maintain and use their hearing aids correctly.

“I am very proud to represent my school in helping the teachers and students use their hearing aids,” said Ahmad Faiz, 17. “I treat all of the students as my friends and family. This is very special.”  

The Foundation also provided follow-up services to three schools within two days of fitting students with hearing aids. The quick turnaround is essential in establishing strong habits and routines among recipients.

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