By Tim Saunders on
You may have heard of Heal The World – well, now some of the world’s greatest musicians are taking part in a campaign to raise awareness of hearing loss called Hear The World.
Hear the World is an initiative by Phonak – a leading manufacturer of hearing aids – that aims to raise awareness of the topic of hearing and hearing loss and to promote good hearing all over the world, and musician Dave Dobbyn spent the weekend in Fiji doing exactly that.
“I see other people who support ‘Hear the World’ like Harry Belafonte, Annie Lennox, Placido Domingo,” said 51-year-old Dobbyn, whose new album, Anotherland, has just been released. “I’m in great company when we’re all thinking about our ears and our health. Your ears get fatigued like every organ in your body so to treat them with respect and keep the volume down.”
One in five children in Fiji are profoundly deaf, and there is no audiology service in the South Pacific nation – children with hearing loss are often not diagnosed until they reach school.
“A child needs to be able to hear sounds in the environment to hear speech and language in order to produce speech and to develop language,” said Logan McMeekin, a Phonak Audiologist who is fitting hearing aids – free-of-charge – to children affected by hearing loss in Fiji. “Our goal isn’t to restore normal hearing we try and give them cues for awareness of their environment so they’re able to be safe in their environment.”
Dave Dobbyn – who has had 10 songs in New Zealand’s Top 100 Songs of All Time, including Loyal and Slice of Heaven – joins a long list of celebrities who support the Hear The World campaign. Amy Winehouse, Annie Lennox, Bobby McFerrin, Michael Buble, Common, Dave Stewart, Dionne Warwick, Franka Potente, Josh Groban, Jerry Hall, Harry Belafonte, Joss Stone, Chad Kroeger, Diane Kruger, Lindsay Lohan, Moby, Placido Domingo, Kelly Osbourne, Eric Roberts, and Rod Stewart are all ambassadors for the initiative, whose goal is to educate the general public about the importance of hearing, the social and emotional impacts and the benefits of available solutions for those with hearing loss. Rocker Bryan Adams is the official photographer for the campaign, and his photos of the ambassadors can be seen on the campaign’s website.
Dave Dobbyn’s message is simple – don’t take it for granted because the ability to hear is a gift. To see a video of him performing for Fijian schoolchildren, click here. To learn more about Hear The World, visit www.hear-the-world.com.
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars