August 2015 South Africa
We were excited when Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron expressed interest in working with us. Her charity initiative, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, works with young people to prevent HIV/AIDS and to empower them with the skills and tools they need to live healthy, productive lives. Since we empower people all over the world through hearing, it was a natural pairing for us to come together to give the gift of hearing in South Africa.
Theron joined us at a school in East London, where we worked to fit hundreds of children, many of whom had never heard a sound before in their lives.
We were all especially touched by the reaction of 13-year-old Khanya. After we connected him to the world of sound, he was so thankful that he began singing and dancing for whole team. We were happy to see the genuine excitement for the future on the faces of the children and their parents and teachers. The teachers told us what the gift of hearing will be able to do for their students’ education. We look forward to seeing the students flourish and grow and to working with Theron’s Africa Outreach Project for years to come.
“It was incredible, and I will never forget it," Theron said. "Particularly because I am a mother to two young kids and to know that this moment will change a child’s life forever… It was pretty emotional. Hearing is something that is so easy to take for granted. This experience made me even more grateful for what a gift it is.”
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