This year for the second time FCTrelief organised a hearing check-up day for all their pupils together with Starkey Hearing foundation, who offer their services for free for the day and are assisted by volunteers. 11 of them came and were able to check and clean the ears of 85 pupils, the FCT staff and 8 guardians. This year offered the service to our pupils' guardians with lunch included. We were surprised that not many took advantage of this offer as the pupils had told us they would come. This is probably because those with jobs had to work and others are still unsure or shy about visiting clinics let alone hospitals and being examined. Normally they cannot afford medical care so it is rather unknown territory for them. The parents/guardians who came appreciated what was done for them as they usually cannot afford to pay for a hearing check-up, so it was the first time for them. The Starkey hearing foundation staff were very friendly with everyone and made them feel comfortable during the check-up.
The staff from Starkey were also offered lunch, which they greatly appreciated as did the pupils and guardians who came. While waiting for their turn to be tested the participants watched an excellent film “Queen of Katwe” about children in Uganda who could not afford to go to school but through a foundation were taught to play chess and in the end even beat those children who were educated in a national chess competition. This also showed the guardians the important role they have to play in their children’s education. One of the parents commented that she would like to see her child excel in her studies and talents just like the main actor in the film. It is so vital that the parents/guardians understand the importance of supporting and encouraging their children for a better education than they had and to be more ambitious for them.
Last year we realised that hardly anyone who underwent the examination had ever had their ears checked and it was important for them to learn how to clean their ears properly and not damage their hearing in any way. They were all fascinated by the hearing tests that followed and those who needed further treatment or even a hearing aid were listed and later went for the follow-up service.
This year there was a noticeable improvement in most cases now the pupils and staff know how to look after their ears properly. One girl who needed operations on both ears last year was told she needs to return to the ear clinic as her hearing has deteriorated and another needs her hearing aid mould replaced. In every way the day proved very worthwhile and FCT is grateful that with the complimentary services offered by Starkey Hearing foundation we have been able to help our pupils and staff. We hope that more of the guardians will now feel more confident about attending the check-up next year.
A big thank you to everyone who helped to make this day a success and to our cooks for providing a delicious lunch for them all.