The non-profit Hear the World Foundation campaigns worldwide for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. It particularly supports projects designed to help children in need with impaired hearing. After all, unless they receive the audiological and medical care they require, children with hearing loss have difficulty learning to speak. In low-income countries like Malawi, the consequences of this are especially far-reaching: the children affected have almost no chance of receiving a school education, they do not develop at an appropriate rate for their age, and as a result they face social exclusion.
In close cooperation with the Australian organization EARS Inc., and the African Bible Colleges (ABC) Malawi, the Hear the World Foundation has been supporting people with hearing loss in Malawi since 2011. The focus has been on building and establishing a clinic and training center in Lilongwe. Since its ceremonial opening in 2013 hundreds of people with hearing loss have been helped at the clinic.
The Hear the World Foundation, in collaboration with well-known photographer Philipp Rathmer, has launched a photography workshop for teenagers with hearing loss in Malawi. During the three day workshop the teenagers were instructed on the proper handling of a camera and embarked on their own photo mission. The goal was to capture their favorite sounds, which they can hear thanks to their new hearing aids. The extraordinary pictures taken by the teenagers during the photography workshop provide us with a pure insight into their lives and the newly discovered world of sounds. The project also shows that children and young people who receive treatment for their hearing loss have the same chances and opportunities as their contemporaries with normal hearing.
Philipp Rathmer is a much sought-after photographer for fashion, lifestyle and advertising productions. Lady Gaga, Sophia Loren, Eva Padberg, Jogi Löw, Christoph Waltz, Wladimir Klitschko – the man from Hamburg has had them all in front of his lens! In the context of the Hear Malawi project he has once again offered his photographic talent to the Hear the World Foundation free of charge.