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  • Southside

Southsider joins hearing aid mission to Armenia

Tuesday, 27th February, 2018 1:00pm
Southsider joins hearing aid mission to Armenia

Ailbhe Lennon pictured during her mission to Armenia.

Southsider joins hearing aid mission to Armenia

Ailbhe Lennon pictured during her mission to Armenia.

A SOUTHSIDE graduate has told how she was able to help give people in Armenia the gift of hearing thanks to a special mission to the country.

Ailbhe Lennon (26), who attended Jesus and Mary College, Our Lady’s Grove in Goatstown, was the only Irish volunteer on the project, which fitted 1,806 Armenians with free hearing aids in just three days.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 360 million people have disabling hearing loss.

Unfortunately, less than three per cent of these individuals can afford hearing aids or even have access to the care they need.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is working to change this by building partnerships, empowering local teams and expanding their three-phase Community-Based Hearing HealthCare model around the world.

Ailbhe graduated with a Diploma in Higher Education in Hearing Aid Audiology from Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh in 2017.

She said: “Being part of the Starkey Hearing Founda-tion mission to Armenia was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

“The most incredible feeling in the world is giving the gift of hearing. 

“One of the highlights of the mission was being able to fit an entire family with hearing aids, including a six-year-old boy, his mother, father and grandmother.

“The whole family had significant hearing loss and did not use any speech. They all used sign language to communicate.

“All Starkey Hearing Foundation volunteers like me are focused on one goal - to strive to ensure that the people we help have the support they need to reach their full potential, reconnect back to life and become self-determinant citizens of our world.”

Commenting on how she developed her interest in audiology and her studies at QMU, Ailbhe added: “Since I was a child, I always wanted to be a midwife.

“I did my Leaving Certificate, but I didn’t get the points I needed to advance into a midwifery course.

“Shortly after the Leaving Certificate, I got a job as a receptionist for a private hearing aid company. This is where my love for audiology began.

“I realised how crucial hearing aids are to people with hearing loss,” she added.

“I’m a people person and I loved being able to help the clients in any way possible.”

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