Starkey Hearing Foundation had never done a mission in Indonesia before 2015, and we were excited to be a part of the very first one. Follow along as LSTN team member Zoya Biglary recounts her experience giving hearing aids in the world's fourth most-populous nation:
I felt incredibly excited and proud to represent LSTN at the Starkey Hearing Foundation mission in Jakarta. As the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta offers everything one could expect from a major metropolis while simultaneously exuding rich cultural influences at every corner.
Over 10 million people live in Jakarta, making it one of the most populous urban cities in the world. Unfortunately, many Indonesians earn low wages and struggle to make ends meet for their families. Medical equipment, especially for the hearing impaired community, is outrageously expensive and out of the question for most.
We arrived to the mission site in the morning to find over 500 patients waiting to receive new hearing aids! Many were young children who had never heard before. Almost all had traveled far distances to be there as they were unable to afford hearing aids on their own.
I fit a man in his 40's and when I turned his battery on and asked if it was "sama", meaning balanced, he began to cry. The interpreter working alongside me said that this was the first time the man had ever heard anything in his entire life.
I struggled to wrap my head around the fact that this man had gone his entire life without hearing music or the voices of his loved ones. It's too easy to take basic senses for granted and my experience in Jakarta was humbling, to say the least.
Every purchase, every effort with LSTN helps us get one step closer to changing more lives through the power of music. Your support is so incredibly important and we thank you for being part of our sound and purpose at LSTN.
Learn more about SHF's first-ever Indonesian mission here