In 2007 Swindon Soroptimists we met members of SI Surulere in Nigeria at the Federation Conference in Harrogate. They are our Friendship link. Our then President Gillian Reed was an audiologist at Great Western and asked if they could make use of the old analogue hearing aids she was replacing with digital ones.
President Chinwe and the members of Surulere jumped at the chance as deaf children in Nigeria struggle to get an education as hearing aids are so scarce.
In Nigeria, it took time to persuade the authorities and obtain funding for an audiologist etc. but in 2008 they reported there were ready to receive aids.
Swindon members spent an enjoyable evening around the kitchen table to clean the 1st batch of c. 450 hearing aids. On receipt, the Surulere Club arranged hearing tests and moulds to be made enabling the first group to get an education.
We sent further batches in 2010, 2012, 2015.
We try to meet members of Surulere at every Soroptimist Federation conference if we can and in 2014 they were kind enough to give our Club an award for our part in this project.
Supplies then began to run out and in 2016 we cleaned our last batch. That year, instead of posting them, we were able to meet our friends Angela, Orienda, Nneka and Chinwe at our conference in Malta. Orienda was their Club President and had commented on email “304? That’s amazing! We truly appreciate your efforts”. We supplied about 2,500 aids in all.