Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2014
Starkey Hearing Foundation Mission to Sri Lanka
It takes incredible partnerships to help us move into a new country. In the case of
November’s Colombo, Sri Lanka mission, it was a new partnership with SYNERGEN Health founders Mel and Duminda Gunawardena.After attending the Gala, the Gunawardena brothers were inspired to bring the gift of hearing to their home country of Sri Lanka.
The first hearing mission included another special partnership — the Sri Lankan Army. In addition to providing the fitting site at the local air force grounds, the army assisted with transporting patients from cities around the country. Many patients lost their hearing during the recent civil war that lasted for more than 15 years.
Emotions ran high as patients told stories of the impact of the war on their lives. We listened closely as we helped the appreciative patients and their families. Through drenching rains each afternoon, we worked hard to help all who had made the journey. By the end of the last day, nearly 2,000 Sri Lankan patients had their hearing restored.
Retired NFL player Sidney Rice and actress Josie Bissett also joined the team, helping us change lives.
It may have been our first hearing mission in Sri Lanka, but it will not be our last. Because of hard work and strong partnerships, an incredible team is now in place to build a sustainable system of care for years to come.
Special Thanks SYNERGEN Health; Vision Care; Sri Lanka Army; Sidney Rice; Josie Bissett; Ret and Caren Templet; Mark and Jennifer Adams; Michelle and Joyce Scott; LSTN: Bridget Hilton, Joe Huff; Starkey India