With the help of Branson, Starkey provided complimentary hearing care to 186 people at Bhubezi Healthcare clinic in South Africa, which was opened in 2007 by Virgin Unite, and more than 200 people in Nairobi, Kenya.
“I have been fortunate to do some very exciting things in my lifetime. But helping a young girl to hear for the very first time was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had,” said Sir Richard Branson in his recent blog post. "Virgin Unite has worked with the Starkey Hearing Foundation for many years, since the team first joined one of our Leadership Gatherings on Necker. They have fitted more than 1,000,000 hearing aids to people in need around the world.
“It is amazing how simple the hearing aid is, and what a profound impact it can make. I can’t begin to imagine how life-changing hearing all of the wonderful noises in the world for the first time would be.”
Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation has pledged to provide more than one million hearing aids to people in need this decade and currently gives more than 200,000 hearing aids annually.