Phonak Joins Forces With Global Explorers to Offer the First-Ever Hear the World Expedition to the Peruvian Amazon

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 General News
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STAFA, Switzerland, Dec. 7 Hear the World, a global initiative by hearing system manufacturer Phonak, combines forces with Global Explorers, a not-for-profit educational travel organization, to offer the first-ever Hear the World Expedition. The expedition will integrate students of mixed hearing abilities to raise awareness about hearing as a fundamental part of life that many take for granted.

Hearing loss affects one in every six people worldwide - the equivalent of the number of people who own a car. However, few realize the important role that hearing and sound play in day to day life. The acoustical environment of the Peruvian Amazon is a complex symphony exploding with life - where one's ability to listen is increasingly magnified. For that reason, it is the perfect setting to educate students about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss. Students with and without hearing loss will form an unlikely team that will work together and learn from one another while shattering expectations and learning to use adversity to their advantage.

The expedition team will be accompanied by Bill Barkeley, a world-class mountain climber and one of the 15,000 people in the United States with Type 2 Usher's Syndrome - the leading cause of deaf-blindness in the world. Bill's 2007 summit of Mount Kilimanjaro shattered expectations and confirmed his role as an advocate and inspiration for the hearing loss community.

"With the assistance of a Phonak hearing device, I was able to successfully accomplish what many deemed impossible," said Bill. "I am thrilled to be a part of this partnership between Global Explorers and Hear the World, and accompany these inspirational young people as a mentor on this incredible journey."

About Hear the World Expeditions

Hear the World Expeditions create a unique platform where groups of students explore science, culture, leadership and service while at the same time raising awareness about the importance of hearing. More than a simple trip, the Hear the World Expedition to the Amazon will include a pre-expedition training in the Spring of 2010, a two week international field workshop throughout the Peruvian Amazon (Iquitos, Peru) from July 8-17, 2010, as well as follow-up service projects and a large-scale public outreach campaign for students from around the world.

Expedition applications are currently being accepted through January 15, 2010. Applicants must be between the ages of 17-22 on July 8, 2010, enrolled as a full-time student either the semester before or after travel and experience hearing loss or have an expressed interest in hearing awareness and education. Fundraising assistance is available for those who qualify.

To learn more, nominate a student or apply, visit:

To learn more about Hear the World, visit, become a fan on Facebook at and follow the Hear the World Twitter channel at

About Global Explorers

Global Explorers is a nonprofit organization based in Fort Collins, CO that shares educational immersive travel experiences with school groups and individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. Since its inception in 2003, Global Explorers has served thousands of students and educators and supported communities in Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Tanzania and the American Southwest. Global Explorers' programs have been featured on ABC World New Tonight, ABC Nightline, the Travel Channel and CBS Sunday Morning. Global Explorers' mission is to inspire responsible global citizenship through life-changing travel experiences. The programs all focus on four core disciplines: science, culture, leadership and service.

To learn more about Global Explorers, please visit

About Hear the World

Hear the World is a global initiative by leading hearing system manufacturer Phonak created to raise awareness about the importance of hearing. The initiative calls attention to the social and emotional impact of hearing loss and addresses prevention of and solutions to a problem that affects more than 16% of the world's population. Bryan Adams, Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz, Placido Domingo and other renowned personalities support the Hear the World initiative as ambassadors. In the context of the Hear the World initiative, Phonak has established the non-profit Hear the World Foundation to improve the quality of life of people with hearing loss through financial and technical assistance. The foundation is committed to the prevention of hearing loss as well as the support of people with hearing loss and their families.

For more information, please visit


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