Malala Fund and Cochlear Foundation have partnered to raise awareness about the barriers keeping millions of young people with hearing loss from accessing a quality education.
Early access to better hearing healthcare and support can help children speak, communicate, learn, and develop, significantly improving their ability to gain an education and realise their full potential.1,2
However, worldwide 34 million children have disabling hearing loss.3 If children with hearing loss do not receive early access to hearing healthcare and support, they often lower school performance, higher risk of dropping out of school, and less likelihood of accessing higher education4. Ultimately, this can impact their lifelong career prospects.3
This problem is exacerbated in many parts of the world where children – especially girls – already face significant barriers to education.5
Promoting equal rights to education for girls, children and young people with hearing loss
Malala Yousafzai started speaking out for girls’ education after the Taliban banned girls from going to school in her hometown. In 2013, she co-founded Malala Fund with her father, Ziauddin. A year later, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to see every girl complete 12 years of free, safe, quality education. The organisation continues to champion this mission.
Three paths that lead to change
Malala Fund and Cochlear Foundation aspire to remove hearing loss as a barrier to life’s opportunities so all children and young people can gain a quality education and realise their ability to thrive throughout their life. To achieve this, Cochlear Foundation and Cochlear will:
1. Parents: Appeal to parents to support children and young people with hearing loss to gain early access to hearing healthcare and support, and ensure they have the support needed to complete their education and realise their full potential.
2. Hearing health community: Join forces with hearing health non-government organisations (NGOs) and advocacy organisations to collectively raise awareness of the needs of millions of children and young people with hearing loss worldwide. We'll promote their equal rights to an education and early access to hearing healthcare and support.
3. Governments and societies: Support a growing global call for governments and societies to prioritise hearing health, providing children and young people with access to the most appropriate hearing healthcare and support so they can speak, communicate, learn, develop and realise their full potential.
Just as Malala inspires people everywhere through her amazing story of courage and persistence, we will work alongside Malala Fund to inspire children and young people with hearing loss, encouraging them to gain an education, build self-esteem and realise their full potential throughout their life.
1. Ching TYC and Dillon H. Major Findings of the LOCHI study on children at 3 years of age and implications for audiological management. Int J Audiol. (2013 Dec).
2. Ching TYC, Dillon H, Button L, Seeto M, Van Buynder P, Marnane V, Cupples L, Leigh G. Age at Intervention for Permanent Hearing Loss and 5-Year Language Outcomes. Pediatrics. (2017 Sep).
3. World Health Organization. Factsheet: deafness and hearing loss. Available here: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss.
4. World Report on Hearing, World Health Organization.https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/world-report-on-hearing.
5. UNICEF, Gender equality in education benefits every child, https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education
The relationship between Malala Fund and Cochlear Foundation is described as a “partnership” for convenience and does not constitute a legal partnership, joint venture, agency, employment or any other relationship by which either party may become liable for the acts or omissions of the other.