Jakarta, Bandung, Palembang, Surabaya, Solo, Bali, Makassar, Pontianak
November 2016 Indonesia
With more than 255 million people, Indonesia is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
While great strides have been made to improve the economic conditions in Indonesia in recent years, there are still many people in need with little to no access to hearing healthcare.
Our team wasted no time getting right to work helping Indonesians, fitting hundreds of people each day with hearing aids. In turn, we were received with a very strong welcome with countless smiles and messages of thanks by the more than 7,000 people helped by our team.
The hearing mission in Indonesia featured a few venerable Foundation supporters including Sandi Young and Ret and Caren Templet, and Neil Aiello, who have supported giving the gift of hearing around the world for well over a decade.
“There’s never adequate words to describe being on a hearing mission with the Starkey family,” Sandi Young said. “To be in a room with so many people in need, and witness them going from silent to hearing, it’s incredible, and I’ll never stop being thankful for the experience.”
While there were some longtime friends with us in Indonesia, there were also a few helping patients for the first time. While providing hearing care never gets old for our team, there’s always something special about seeing people help patients and witness the life-changing moment right in front of their eyes.
“I was told going in that this would be an emotional experience,” Jackson Balla said. “However, nothing could have fully prepared me for what I experienced in being able to look people in the eye and see absolute joy spread across their face.”
Following our time in Jakarta, our team traveled to Bandung where we had the pleasure of welcoming renowned singer and good friend Portia Clark along with her fiancé Brendan to the hearing mission. They both showed a tremendous amount of compassion to patients, as well as brightened the day for many by sharing beautiful vocals for people after they were opened to the world of sound.
We continued on to Surabaya where we met Jasmine a 10-year-old girl who was born with hearing loss. Her mother sought medical attention early to give her daughter the full benefits of a working ear, but the surgeries that doctors suggested were too expensive for the family. When her mother, Mrs. Alya, found out about Starkey Hearing Foundation, she was overwhelmed with gratitude at the chance to give her daughter the chance to hear.
“I’ve been waiting 10 years to have this moment!” Her joy and gratitude were contagious. In reference to the Starkey Hearing Foundation team, she said, “I don’t know where they are sent from, maybe they are sent from the heavens. Thank you so much! It is a blessing for our daughter to have her voice again!” The opportunity to give children the chance at a more fulfilling life by utilizing the gift of hearing is what pushed us to the cities of Solo and then Bali!
In Bali, we teamed up with Starkey Australia and a group of 40 Australian customers to fit over 600 patients. The joyful emotion throughout the days was literally tangible as smiles, cheers and tears were shared with our team and the patients we got to help.
Our team wrapped up the cities of Indonesia in Makassar and Pontianak, just in time to be home for Thanksgiving. We were filled with gratitude for those who support the Foundation, the lives that changed ours and the team of angels we work with every day.
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