Gaza Deaf Children and the Gift of Hearing

February 4, 2009 ANERA
Gaza, Health, In-Kind Medical and Relief
Dr Randa Mansour-Shousher examines a patient Dr Randa Mansour-Shousher examines a patient.

Randa Mansour-Shousher, Doctor of Audiology, was born in France and educated in the United States. But she has never forgotten her roots. She is Palestinian – her parents from El-Bireh and Jerusalem.

A year ago while visiting Washington, DC, Randa learned about ANERA. And, quickly she decided to join her own expertise with the strengths of ANERA to meet a need in Gaza – helping children with hearing impairments. Working with staff from ANERA’s office in Gaza and project partner, Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, Randa saw a way to parlay her professional strengths and connections into meaningful action.

Hearing aids are to be delivered to over 100 preschoolers in Gaza who need them.

“I have sent money to the region in the past,” explained Randa, “but I don’t get overseas as much as I would like. I really appreciate being able to trust that ANERA has a staff in Gaza who will take this work seriously.”

Randa, ANERA and Atfaluna are teaming up to help needy preschoolers in Gaza improve their hearing. Atfaluna and ANERA’s Gaza staff screened and tested 20,000 preschoolers. They communicated their needs to ANERA headquarters, which made contact with Randa, who in turn has called to action her contacts in the Audiology world.

Randa brought Gaza’s needs to the attention of other fellow doctors as well as companies that specialize in hearing aids. She has succeeded in getting donations of much-needed equipment that will be shipped to Gaza as part of ANERA’s longstanding donated medicines program. But she is also working with hearing aid companies to obtain donated hearing aids along with the opportunity to purchase additional hearing aids, batteries and molds at the “friendliest” prices possible.

“I am really pleased the companies are willing to work with us on this,” Randa exclaimed. “I explain that these hearing aids are going to Gaza. They say that as long as needy children are getting help, then that is what is important.”

ANERA is now raising funds for this important project. Over 100 children ready to start first grade in September need hearing aids, each of which requires molding material, fitting services and batteries.

Randa has already given these children her professional expertise, her financial support, her time and energy, and her compassion. Help Randa, ANERA and Atfaluna give Gaza children the most meaningful of gifts – the ability to hear.

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