Lo­cal hear­ing to Hi­malayas

Lo­cal NGO makes call to ac­tion

Whitsunday Times - - LIFE / BUSINESS - Jes­sica Lamb Jes­sica.Lamb@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

“WE BE­LIEVE in com­pas­sion in ac­tion,” were the words Whit­sun­day res­i­dent Lew Tuck said as he was de­scrib­ing the Hi­malayan Health and Hear­ing men­tal­ity.

The non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion has been op­er­at­ing for more than eight years now out of Whit­sun­day Hear­ing’s of­fice in Can­non­vale where Lew’s wife Sue Tuck con­ducts busi­ness.

And now HHH is putting a call out for peo­ple look­ing to be in­volved and make a real dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives.

In a nut­shell, the NGO col­lects do­nated hear­ing aids and their parts to send to their staff in the Hi­malayan re­gion from Nepal to In­dia to fit to peo­ple who have hear­ing loss or are partly deaf.

The lo­cally-based or­gan­i­sa­tion has a grass-roots ap­proach which means they em­ploy and train lo­cal mem­bers of the com­mu­nity in or­der to one day have the re­gion self-suf­fi­ciently help­ing it­self.

Mr Tuck said hear­ing loss in re­mote ar­eas where there are no TV or news­pa­pers (for the small num­ber who can read), the in­abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate is a sen­tence to soli­tude.

“Ed­u­ca­tion in pri­mary ear care of both lo­cal clinic staff and the peo­ple will dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the chance of pro­longed ear in­fec­tion, with re­sul­tant per­ma­nent hear­ing loss,” he said.

“Pro­vi­sion of hear­ing de­vices for the young means they can go to school, they can make friends, they can grow up nor­mally… Young hard of hear­ing are of­ten put into a “deaf” home, as they are dif­fi­cult to man­age at home and in reg­u­lar schools.

“‘Dumb’ has the same con­no­ta­tion, here as there, and so young peo­ple grow­ing up are un­able to be an ac­tive part of the com­mu­nity and live a soli­tary life.”

Mr Tuck also said pro­vid­ing hear­ing de­vices to the el­derly also means they con­tinue to con­trib­ute to the fam­ily ben­e­fit of their ex­pe­ri­ences, and can hear their re­li­gious teach­ers, so they are bet­ter able to pre­pare for death and their next lives.

“I think an ex­am­ple re­cently re­ally high­lights this is when we walked into a school where they had a class­room of all the deaf kids to­gether – we were able to fit all bar two of them with hear­ing aids so they could hear,” he said.

“It changes lives.” HHH also part­nerS with other or­gan­i­sa­tions to com­bat is­sues like women’s health where they in­vite the com­mu­nity to get ear checks and then once there talk about gy­nae­co­log­i­cal prob­lems as well.

The time has come for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to build for the fu­ture and en­sure the con­ti­nu­ity of their work so they are ask­ing com­mu­nity mem­bers to come in and find out more about the NGO and how they can be in­volved.

“This is some­thing I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about – lit­tle tiny peo­ple in a lit­tle tiny town can make a lit­tle tiny dif­fer­ence,” Mr Tuck said.

“All of the money and aids do­nated go di­rectly to the work HHH does, we sup­port our ad­min costs from our busi­ness.

“We want to work with se­ri­ous peo­ple who will make a real change.”

To learn more about HHH does walk into the Whit­sun­day Hear­ing of­fice or visit their web­site to do­nate on­line.

PHOTO: JES­SICA LAMB

GET IN­VOLVED: Sue and Lew Tuck out­side their Can­non­vale busi­ness Whit­sun­day Hear­ing where they run the NGO Hi­malayan Health and Hear­ing Inc. IN­SET: A Hi­malayan Health and Hear­ing staff mem­ber check­ing a pa­tient.

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