Starkey Hearing Institute Class of 2017 Graduation

Starkey Hearing Foundation celebrated the second graduating class of its year-long program in hearing instrument sciences at the Starkey Hearing Institute in Zambia. Ten students from eight countries graduated as Second Inaugural Starkey Hearing Institute Class Graduates. These graduates came from all around Africa to be trained in hearing instrument sciences, including Starkey’s WFA® community-based hearing healthcare model, and will now return to their home communities to identify, diagnose and treat the over 30 million Africans with hearing loss.

The Starkey Hearing Institute opened in 2016, with the mission to train hearing healthcare workers to address the urgent need for professionals who can provide quality care to people around Sub-Saharan Africa.

Alfred Mwamba, Director of Starkey Hearing Institute, commenced the celebration saying, “we have become the beacon of healthcare. We believe hearing healthcare should start at the community level. We are changing lives every single day.” Students were encouraged to “find their humanity” as they head back to their prospective home countries.

“The number of Africans in need of hearing care is astounding. With such a large number of people to serve, these specialists will play an essential role in their communities’ well-being,” said Owen Olende, Starkey Hearing Foundation director of global development. “We are determined to widen the reach of our simple, sustainable and scalable community-based hearing healthcare program across Africa to provide the much-needed care to those in need.”

In attendance to the graduation were members of the Starkey Hearing Foundation advisory board, Executives of Starkey Hearing Foundation and President of Delta Zeta, Cindy Menges, who pledged to be a life -long partner with Starkey Hearing Foundation. Other guests included Foundation staff, and family and friends of the graduates.

Mrs. Tani Austin was the keynote speaker at the graduation and encouraged the students in their future endeavors. She said, “We expect you to do something. Your change starts here — today. You can transform lives … Africa is our learning ground for the rest of the world.”

The next Starkey Hearing Institute program will commence in early 2018, with 10 students from eight countries in Africa.

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