Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
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Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Best hearing aid under the sun

Sphere: Related Content I am a member of the group Eco20/20 at Diigo.com.

Fellow Diigo user Joshua Sherk shared this link on 10-14-2008 about Howard Weinstein's goal to build a company that could produce affordable hearing aids for Africans.

HEARING AIDS FOR AFRICA -

A significant problem with hearing aids in Africa is how to keep them in working order. Batteries wear out quickly, and cost about $1 each to replace. That's too expensive for most people in countries where the average wage is about $1 a day.

This is an innovative solution that addresses the challenge of a global health issue.

The World Health Organization estimates there are about 250 million hearing impaired people globally, with about two-thirds of them living in developing countries, yet only six million hearing aids are manufactured each year.

It also finds an environmentally sustainable means of doing so.

"You have these great organizations like the Rotary and Kiwanis and World Vision, and they give out tens of thousands of hearing aids each year," he says. "And after a week, the hearing aid is put in a drawer because the battery dies. That's the weakest link.

"We started with the battery and worked backward. The common factor in most developing countries is sun. So let's use that energy to make something."

What was particularly inspiring was Weinstein's attitude.

Weinstein is particularly proud of the 10 deaf employees he hired to run Godisa. "We had three come to Canada and take an aviation soldering course in Montreal, given in sign language. Then they went to work in industry as part of the course. And industry wanted to keep them, they are so good. Yet they decided to go back to Botswana and train other deaf people."

As for his role, Weinstein insists it's no big deal.

"Any social entrepreneur will tell you, you have to be stubborn and stupid. It's just as simple as that." Jokes aside, he believes perseverance pays off when intellect alone can't get the job done.


DiigoTags: aids hearing solar

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